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Legislation that requires electronic prescriptions of opioids heading to Gov. Wolf’s desk

HARRISBURG — A bill that requires opioids to be prescribed electronically is heading to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.

Currently under state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand, but according to Rep. Tedd Nesbit (R-Mercer/Butler), House Bill 353 would change that: requiring doctors to send their orders electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.

“This legislation is a commonsense measure to prevent the theft of prescription pads while also making it more convenient for patients who have a legitimate need for this medication,” said Rep. Nesbit, the bill’s sponsor. “I want to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for recognizing that this proposal is a step in the right direction. I look forward to the governor’s prompt consideration of it.”

Rep. Nesbit added, “I want to ensure patients who have a recognized need for these prescriptions that this should not make it more difficult for them at their local pharmacy. In fact, electronic prescriptions may even provide greater convenience for patients, who would not have to pick up a prescription from their doctor, deliver it to the pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. It can be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions.”

Gov. Wolf has 10 days to act on the legislation when it reaches his desk.