Bill S1319-2013

Relates to requirements of prescriptions for drugs

Requires prescriptions to be typewritten, electronically printed or handwritten in ink or indelible pencil in a legible manner; requires that handwritten prescriptions shall only be written in print letters; prohibits the use of script letters in handwritten prescriptions.

Details

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1319

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation to requiring certain prescriptions to be typewritten

PURPOSE: Requires that prescriptions shall be typewritten, electronically printed or handwritten in ink or indelible pencil in a legible manner.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Subdivision 8 of section 6810 of the education law, as added by chapter 626 of the laws of 1985 is amended. The opening paragraph of subdivision 2 of section 3332 of the public health law as amended by chapter 178 of the laws of 2010 is amended.

JUSTIFICATION: In this era of skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums, avoiding prescription error not only safeguards patient safety, but protects the doctor as well.

Typewritten or carefully printed prescriptions will lead to a safer environment in the interaction between physicians, pharmacists and other health-care providers. This legislation does not require advanced computer systems for prescription writing but only mandates that prescriptions be typed or printed legibly. Typing out prescriptions dramatically reduces errors.

To many patients and, unfortunately, pharmacists, handwriting often looks like a secret code between the physician and the druggist. Unfortunately, those scribbles are sometimes exactly what they appear to be, sloppy handwriting and unintelligible.

A 2010 Cornell Medical College study highlights the dangers associated with handwritten prescriptions. Five doctors followed the prescriptions issued by a sample of providers in outpatient settings. The researchers found 37 errors for every 100 paper prescriptions, and 7 per 100 for those using e-prescribing software. Typewritten prescriptions offer an alternative to e-prescribing software, while accomplishing the same goal. The Institute of Medicine estimated a $2 billion cost associated with adverse drug events often caused by illegible prescriptions.

In July 2006, a report from the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine, found that preventable medication mistakes injure more than 1.5 million Americans annually. Many such errors result from unclear abbreviations, dosage indications and illegible writing on some of the 3.2 billion prescriptions written in the U.S. every year. In addition, doctors' sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually {Cause of Death: Sloppy Doctors," WWW.TIME.COM. January 15, 2007.

While the vast majority of prescriptions are written and interpreted correctly, common sense dictates that typewritten prescriptions will

insure even more accurate readings. Pharmacists should be especially appreciative of more easily read prescription forms. Typewritten prescriptions only take about 2 minutes per order compared to 15 seconds for writing one, but the advantage far outweighs any extra moments involved.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2009-2010: S.1752 - Advanced to Third Reading and was reported to Codes Committee. 2011-2012: S.3356 - Referred to Higher Education

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state but litigation would be reduced, resulting in unknown savings to our court system.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the two hundred seventieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1319 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law and the public health law, in relation to requiring certain prescriptions to be typewritten THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 8 of section 6810 of the education law, as added by chapter 626 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: 8. Every prescription (whether or not for a controlled substance) written in this state by a person authorized to issue such prescription and containing the prescriber's signature shall, in addition to such signature[,]: (A) be imprinted or stamped legibly and conspicuously with the printed name of the prescriber who has signed the prescription. The imprinted or stamped name of the signing prescriber shall appear in an appropriate location on the prescription form and shall not be entered in or upon any space or line reserved for the prescriber's signature. The imprinted or stamped name shall not be employed as a substitute for, or fulfill any legal requirement otherwise mandating that the prescription be signed by the prescriber; AND (B) SHALL BE TYPEWRITTEN, ELECTRONICALLY PRINTED OR HANDWRITTEN IN INK OR INDELIBLE PENCIL IN A LEGIBLE MANNER. THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT AFFECT MATTERS REQUIRED BY LAW TO BE HANDWRITTEN BY THE PRESCRIBER. S 2. The opening paragraph of subdivision 2 of section 3332 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 178 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: Such prescription shall be prepared on an official New York state prescription form, LEGIBLY written with ink, indelible pencil or, apart from the practitioner's signature, typewriter or electronic printer, or to the extent authorized by federal requirements, on an electronic prescription AND, WHERE HANDWRITTEN, SHALL ONLY BE WRITTEN IN PRINT
LETTERS. SUCH PRESCRIPTIONS SHALL NOT BE HANDWRITTEN IN SCRIPT LETTERS. The original official New York state prescription or the electronic prescription must contain the following: S 3. This act shall take effect on the two hundred seventieth day after it shall have become a law.

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