Practitioner Updates

Pharmacist’s Corner: Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances in Illinois

Pharmacist using a laptop

On January 1, 2023, all prescribers in Illinois must use electronic prescribing methods to send controlled substance medications in scheduled classes II, III, IV, and V. They must be sent electronically or face penalties from the Illinois state government. Illinois HB3596 requires that healthcare practitioners authorized to issue prescriptions have the capability to transmit them electronically and that pharmacies have the capability to receive prescriptions electronically. All professionals and institutions were given a grace period and must be in compliance with this mandate by January 1, 2024.

How does this affect veterinarians in Illinois?

On January 1, 2024, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation issued a Public Act 103-0425 which provides economic hardship and low volume waivers on the electronic prescription mandate for controlled substances that was introduced back in 2023. Under the hardship waiver, if a prescribing healthcare provider demonstrates financial difficulties in buying or maintaining an electronic prescription system, they shall not be required to issue prescriptions electronically.

Prescribers may be asked to provide proof of a waiver but IDFPR is not issuing such waivers and pharmacies are not required to keep track of prescriptions if they are still handwritten.

Therefore, under this new Public Act, the prescribing of controlled substances remains unchanged for those applicable and should not delay or affect the outcomes of patient care.

By Sarah Lira, PharmD, FSVHP, pharmacy resident

Photo by KumCup for AdobeStock