Iowa News

IDPH Issues Press Release Regarding E-Prescribing Mandate Effective January 1, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health issued the following press release on December 30, 2019.

Beginning January 1, 2020, House File 2377 (2018 Iowa Acts) mandates the electronic transmission of all prescriptions, including all controlled substances, unless specifically exempted. All health care providers, excluding veterinarians, are included in the law.

Electronic prescribing, or "e-prescribing," allows health care providers to enter prescription information into a computer device, such as a tablet, laptop or desktop computer, and securely transmit the prescription to pharmacies using a special software program and connectivity to a transmission network.

“E-prescribing has been shown to decrease prescribing and medication errors, and enhance the safety of and quality of the prescribing process,” said Iowa Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Andrew Funk. “It’s also an important part of the fight against opioid misuse, as e-prescriptions are much less likely to be falsified.”

Iowa is one of 15 states with e-prescribing mandates. In most instances, Iowans treated with prescription medications will no longer be given a paper slip to take to a pharmacy; instead, the prescription will be electronically sent to their pharmacy of choice. This includes “C-II” prescriptions that have historically been written and required to be hand-delivered to the pharmacy. C2 drugs contain narcotics, stimulants and central nervous system depressants like codeine and hydrocodone. Existing prescriptions with refills will continue to be filled until the prescription expires or the refills are exhausted. Practitioners will still be able to order a 90-day supply of medication as well; it will simply be ordered electronically.

Iowans with questions about the new requirement should speak to their prescriber or pharmacist. For more information and to see a list of frequently asked questions, visit Practitioners may send questions to