An article in the January/February issue of the College Connector reminded registrants that prescriptions must include a handwritten or “wet” signature, rather than a signature stamp. It further stated that prescriptions generated from an EMR must be printed, authenticated with a handwritten signature, and faxed to the pharmacy.
After reading the article, a number of physicians contacted the College inquiring about the use of electronic pen pads for this purpose. The key message in this is that the signature must be unique and applied with a human hand—be it pen to paper, or electronic pen to pad.
The earlier article was also intended as a plea on behalf of pharmacist colleagues to ensure that prescriptions meet legal requirements for validity. In addition to a unique signature, those requirements include patient addresses and registrants’ CPSID numbers. Pharmacists who dispense medications despite inadequately formulated prescriptions face significant financial penalties.
The College of Pharmacists of BC has provided this guidance to its registrants indicating what they need from prescribers: