The Board of Pharmacy recently adopted final rulemaking to implement 2018 Iowa Acts, House File 2377, which mandates the electronic transmission of all prescriptions not subject to an exception as of January 1, 2020. The Board’s rules will be published in the Iowa Administrative Bulletin on July 31, 2019 and will be effective September 4, 2019. 

The adopted rules provide additional clarification on what constitutes an “emergency situation.” Specifically, “an emergency situation may include, but is not limited to, the issuance of a prescription to meet the immediate care need of a patient after hours when a prescriber is unable to access electronic prescribing capabilities. Such prescription shall be limited to a quantity sufficient to meet the acute need of the patient with no authorized refills.”

The adopted rules also finalize the petition for exemption to the electronic transmission mandate. Prescribers and pharmacies who wish to seek exemption must submit a completed petition request by October 1, 2019. The petition request form may be found on the Board’s website HERE. Only completed petition requests will be considered for exemption. Attached to the petition request form is information from vendors of electronic prescribing systems who may be able to meet your electronic prescribing needs. The Board does not endorse any particular vendor and practitioners are not limited to the vendors whose information is provided. Note that the Board does not require electronic health record (EHR) systems, nor does it require an electronic prescribing system be integrated into an EHR system. 

Administrative penalties for noncompliance. Violations of the electronic transmission mandate may result in an administrative penalty of $250 per violation, up to a maximum of $5,000 per calendar year. While a pharmacy must be capable of receiving electronic prescriptions, including for controlled substances, a pharmacist may fill a prescription received by hardcopy, fax, or phone without verifying the prescriber has a valid exemption to the mandate.