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Prescribing drugs electronically

June 20, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Government regulators said they were preparing to allow highly addictive medications to be prescribed online, a goal long sought by health insurers and large employers.

Doctors are required by law to write out by hand prescriptions for controlled substances, which include attention deficit disorder drugs such as Shire Pharmaceuticals' Adderall and painkillers like Cephalon Inc.'s Fentora, which is for cancer patients.

The concern is that patients are more likely to abuse these treatments, and their prescriptions should be monitored more closely.

The Drug Enforcement Administration will soon publish a proposal that would allow doctors to prescribe such drugs electronically. The agency will accept comments on the proposal before reworking it and establishing a final rule.

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