Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
News : Recent Press Releases     Op-Ed     Publications     About the Legislative Press Bureau Printer Friendly View
6/12/2024 General Assembly OKs Fogarty, DiMario bill to allow pharmacies to transfer prescriptions electronically
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly Tuesday passed legislation introduced by Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown) and Sen. Alana DiMario (D-Dist. 36, North Kingstown, Narragansett, New Shoreham) that would allow for electronic prescription transfers.

The bill (2024-H 7566Aaa, 2024-S 2378A) would require the Department of Health to amend its rules and regulations that allow for pharmacies registered by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to transfer electronic prescriptions at a patient’s request.

“This bill is important because there have been many medications that are in short supply,” said Representative Fogarty. “This bill would set the framework whereby these pharmacies could electronically transfer the prescriptions without the time-consuming process of paperwork. It also has safeguards that prevent any chance of duplicating the prescription at two different pharmacies.”

Last year, the DEA changed its regulations to allow for electronic transfer of medications for Schedule II through V drugs, paving the way for Rhode Island to change the law to require the Department of Health to adopt regulations allowing those electronic transfers.

 “We have faced tremendous shortages of these medications, particularly those that are used to treat ADHD,” said Senator DiMario, who works as a licensed mental health counselor. “Because it is a Schedule II drug, there needs to be a unique prescription for that medication every 30 days. It leaves families having to call around to other pharmacies to check availability, and puts another administrative burden on care providers, who then have to generate a new prescription.”

After concerns were raised by the Department of Health about the ability of some Rhode Island pharmacies to carry out these transfers with the technology they currently possess, the bill was amended to require the department to amend its regulations following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s designation for the standard the pharmacy industry must use to support Medicare electronic prescribing and related transactions to permit the transfer of electronic prescriptions.

The measure now moves to the governor’s office.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903