New York Leads In E-Prescribing Of Controlled Substances Nationwide

Surescripts Technology Helps New York Tackle Prescription Drug Abuse

ARLINGTON, Va. – February 1, 2016 – Today, new data from Surescripts, the nation’s leading health information network, shows that New York is leading the nation in the enablement of electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). In New York, 27 percent of total prescribers are enabled to digitally prescribe controlled substances and 58 percent of prescribers are actively transmitting electronic prescriptions in general. New York pharmacies have stepped up as well, with 93 percent of them now being able to electronically receive prescriptions for controlled substances.  This surge in enablement comes at a time when prescribers in the state are facing the upcoming Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing (I-STOP) mandate, requiring all prescriptions be transmitted electronically by March 27, 2016.       

At the end of 2015, New York prescriber enablement for EPCS outpaced the national average of 5.8 percent by five times, a great leap compared to a year ago when New York had less than two percent enablement. This rapid increase in EPCS adoption was possible because electronic health record (EHR) software vendors serving 96 percent of prescribers in New York are already certified to process controlled substance prescriptions electronically.  

“The rapid increase in the number of physicians prepared to e-prescribe controlled substances in New York is a testament to the power that legislation can wield in quickly closing the gap between a market need and technology readiness in this industry,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “However, there is clearly more work to be done to educate prescribers in New York and across the country on the importance that their adoption of e-prescribing of controlled substances plays in the fight against prescription drug abuse.”

As of September 2015, all 50 states had legalized electronic prescribing of Schedule II-V controlled substances, and federally the fight to combat prescription drug fraud and abuse has reached all the way to the White House.

Last year alone, Surescripts processed over 12.6 million controlled substance prescriptions electronically, representing a nearly tenfold increase over 2014. Yet, there is still significant progress to be made across the nation. The slow rate of nationwide enablement is attributed to several reasons, including confusion around technology requirements, necessary software updates, DEA third-party audit requirements for vendors, and a lack of awareness of the process to become enabled to e-prescribe controlled substances.

Physicians can learn how to get enabled to transmit electronic prescriptions for controlled substances by visiting the online resource The website advises on how to successfully navigate the four steps needed to become enabled:

  • Completing EHR software updates,
  • ID proofing of prescribers,
  • Obtaining credentials for secure two-factor authentication prescription signing, and
  • Setting secure access controls.

About Surescripts

Surescripts is committed to unleashing the potential of American healthcare by creating a more connected and collaborative healthcare system. Our nationwide health information network connects doctor’s offices, hospitals, pharmacists, and health plans through an integrated and technology neutral platform. For more information, go to and follow us at

Media Contact

Sandra Rodriguez,
(571) 303-0860

February 1, 2016 • 4 min read