Are You Ready for Pennsylvania’s New E-Prescribing Law?

Last Updated: Jul 2, 2019

prescriptions_onlineA new Pennsylvania law on electronic prescribing of controlled substances is set to take effect on Oct. 24, 2019.

The e-prescribing law – Act 96 of 2018 – mandates that all Schedule II through V controlled substances, except when dispensed or administered directly to a patient by a practitioner or authorized agent, other than a pharmacist, to an ultimate user, shall be prescribed electronically. This law replaces the traditional method of prescribing controlled substances to a patient, i.e. paper prescription pads.

Hardship Exemptions Under Act 96

Any practitioner, pharmacy, or health care facility that does not meet one of the exceptions in Act 96 but is unable to timely comply with the electronic prescribing requirements may petition the Department of Health (DOH) for an exemption from the requirements based upon economic hardship, technical limitations, or exceptional circumstances.

DOH has published an online hardship exemption form that practices and health care facilities can use to apply for an exemption. View Hardship Exemption Form

Individuals without internet access, or who are otherwise unable to access the posted temporary exemption form, can request a hard copy form. To request a hard copy form, contact DOH at 844-377-7367 or

It is recommended that practitioners begin preparing for this e-prescribing requirement now. Practitioners who may be seeking a hardship exemption are encouraged to continue to plan for the e-prescribing requirement, as that requirement must be implemented unless an exception applies, or DOH grants a hardship exemption.

Get Answers to FAQs on the E-Prescribing Law

In this Quick Consult fact sheet, PAMED answers physicians’ frequently asked questions about the law. It includes details such as exceptions under the law and the penalties for violating the requirements.

Get the Quick Consult 

PAMED members with questions on Act 96 can contact our Knowledge Center at 855-PAMED4U (855-726-3348) or


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  1. Raymond Lodise | Jul 03, 2019
    The attempt to control illegal narcotics has fallen into the hand of legal prescribers.  Although, on the surface and with distorted research, it seems it can diminish narcotic addiction, it is once again penalizing the legal much like the gun laws and we have seen and will continue to see a waste of time and effort.  Controlling narcotics is in the hands of law enforcement not physicians. True a few physicians have failed, but far less the policing agencies.  They have too long turned their head, and now to blame others. These actions will not change the situation, they are just movements to make it appear something is being done.  As a former physician with a sub specialty of drug detox and rehab, I assure those active in this portion of medicine will agree, this will NOT change anything in the addiction picture because it has been misguided.
  2. Hil Rizvi | Mar 21, 2019

    so many anti doc laws. its time to hold legislators in contempt

    hello PaMed. You cannot have a higher security measure than an original handwritten Rx

  3. Steve Karp | Mar 21, 2019

    First they make us buy 'special' prescription pads to protect against forgery. Now we can only prescribe electronically and now another batch of prescriptions will get tossed. When does this nonsense stop? Average docs need to realize that there are sellouts among us who let this nonsense continue. If they weren't sellouts they would speak frankly to the state legislators and tell them where to place their initiatives.

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