A little more than 10 years ago the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment regarding Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS). The Interim Final Rule became effective on June 1, 2010. DEA received over 200 comments but never issued a Final Rule.
On April 21, 2020, DEA issued a second Interim Final Rule regarding EPCS, this time re-opening the comment period to obtain additional feedback from industry. While this is a somewhat unorthodox approach, it is a prudent step toward finalizing the EPCS rule.
In the past ten years, pharmacies and prescribers have had significant opportunity to “test” EPCS. My expectation is that industry will have significant comments to share with DEA, as many of the current regulations lack clarity and impose obligations that have become outdated with the significant advancements in technology.
Comments must be submitted 60 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register. While you are free to submit whatever relevant comment(s) you would like, DEA is specifically looking for comments that address a laundry list of issues provided in the agency’s notice.
As a side note, after more than one month since our governor closed our schools, one of the largest school divisions in the country is apparently unable to provide “distance learning” to its more than 188,000 students (including 2 of which belong to me). I don’t know if they just forgot their login id’s or their mothers’ maiden names to reset their passwords, but if you or someone you know can assist the Fairfax County School Board with getting their act together, I know of at least two working parents that would be eternally grateful. #thereaintenoughboozeinVAtogetthroughCOVID-19