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Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) is a prescriber's ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free and understandable Schedule II-V controlled substance prescriptions directly to a pharmacy from the point-of-care. It is an important element in improving the quality of patient care, and in order to help combat the current drug epidemic, health care clinicians need up-to-date tools and technology that support appropriate prescribing of controlled substances. EPCS has the potential to minimize medication errors for patients, and reduce prescription forgery, diversion, and theft in Pennsylvania.

Per Act 96 of 2018 (the act), practitioners, excluding veterinarians, will be required to issue electronic prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances beginning on October 24, 2019. The Department of Health is currently in the process of promulgating EPCS regulations in accordance with the act. For more information, please email RA-DHEPCS@pa.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Exemption

While the department works to promulgate regulations, it is accepting petitions for temporary exemptions from the requirements in Act 96. These temporary exemptions are subject to approval by the department and preliminary in nature, pending final publishing of regulations as stated in Section 11(b.6) of the act. To submit a petition for temporary exemption, please fill out the Act 96 of 2018 Temporary Exemption Form.