New legislative changes will allow prescriptions for controlled drugs to be generated electronically instead of handwritten.
The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Regulations 2014 include an administrative change to support work on the New Zealand electronic Prescription Service (NZePS). The changes will allow prescribers to generate all controlled drug prescriptions electronically rather than having to hand-write Class B and some Class C controlled drug prescriptions on approved paper-based forms.
The changes came into effect on 1 July 2014, however prescribers will not be able to start issuing electronically generated prescriptions for controlled drugs immediately as the IT system to support this change is still being developed. The IT system development is under way as part of the NZePS project and is expected to be completed this year.
Regular updates on progress will be provided to the sector by the Ministry of Health and the NZePS project.