Security Encyclopedia

Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances

Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS) is a system that enables paperless communication between care providers and pharmacies so prescribers can electronically write, and authorities can track, prescriptions for controlled substances.

EPCS enables drug stores to receive, dispense and document “e-prescriptions” and establishes new identity proofing obligations regarding electronic health records (EHR). Under these obligations, merchants, prescribers and pharmacies are required to use two-factor authentication (2FA), progressively rigorous document trails, and onerous evaluating methods so as to conform to the US Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Interim Final Rule governing EPCS.

While prescribing controlled substances electronically isn’t required by the government, states use EPCS as it creates a considerable advantage for compliance for all stakeholders along the retail, direct care, and regulatory chain.


"If you're at the pharmacy and picking up prescriptions, under EPCS the ones which are controlled substances have additional record-keeping requirements. The pharmacy clerk will ask to scan your Driver ID for identity proofing, to ensure they are dispensing the medication to the right party."