New York legislators want to postpone until next year the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions, saying many still lack needed federal approval. The bill has passed the state Senate and the Assembly Health Committee.
Assemblyman John McDonald, sponsor and practicing pharmacist, says he expects the full Assembly to pass it in two weeks.
The electronic prescriptions — connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check — are intended to prevent fraud and doctor shopping for painkillers.
We like to imagine that medicine is based on evidence and the results of fair testing and clinical trials. In reality, those tests and trials are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors who write prescriptions for everything from antidepressants to cancer drugs to heart medication are familiar with the research literature about a drug, when in reality much of the research is hidden from them by drug companies.