The Washington State Secretary of Health has issued an extension on the previous waiver for the requirement for prescriptions for controlled substances and refill authorizations to be communicated electronically to pharmacies.
In 2019, the Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5380, updating Washington’s opioid prescribing laws. The measure encompassed several new directives, including the requirement for prescriptions for controlled substances to be communicated electronically beginning Jan. 1, 2021, unless one of the authorized exceptions are met. Last June, noting the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on the Washington health care system, the Secretary of Health issued a waiver extending the date of compliance to September 30, 2021.
On April 2, 2021, WSDA — along with several other health care provider associations — received a letter from Secretary of Health Umair Shah affirming the state’s continual recovery efforts regarding COVID-19 and granting an extension of the waiver from complying with the e-prescribing requirement (RCW 69.50.312(1)) until Jan. 1, 2022. At that time, all health care providers subject to the electronic prescribing requirement must comply or meet at least one of the exemption criteria in RCW 69.50.312 (2), including a waiver from the Department of Health.
For more information about Washington’s opioid prescribing rules and how to comply, visit WSDA's Opioid Prescribing Resources page.