A new bill introduced in the Indiana Senate would do away with paper prescriptions by mid-2019 if passed. The bill is filed for the 2019 legislative session by State Senator James Merritt and has been initially referred to the Committee on Health and Provider Services for further discussion. You can review the text of Senate Bill 312 (SB 312) in full here.
SB 312 would require that all prescriptions after June 30 of this year be in an electronic format and electronically transmitted to the pharmacy unless one of the following exceptions is met in which case a written prescription can be used: 1) the provider is unable to send it electronically due to a temporary failure of the technology or electricity; 2) the prescription is intended to be filled outside of state; 3) the prescription is being filled within the same organization; 4) the prescription is non-standard and the information is unable to fit in the electronic form; 5) the prescriber has received a special waiver temporarily exempting them; 6) or the Pharmacy Board has determined that an electronic prescription would be impractical and cause delay or adversely impacting the patient's medical condition. This bill follows a general trend towards greater use of electronic prescriptions and databases aimed at making the prescription process more secure and less subject to misuse. If enacted, this bill would be one of the most advanced of this trend: most other states only encourage electronic prescribing and do not yet mandate it.
We will be monitoring SB 312 as it works its way through Indiana’s legislative process this year. If you would like to contact Senator James Merritt, the SB 312’s sponsor, he can be reached via his Senate webpage.