The March 31, 2010 Federal Register included an interim final rule posting by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that would permit hospitals, healthcare providers, and pharmacies to use electronic prescriptions in the dispensing of controlled drugs. Although providers may currently create electronic prescriptions for controlled substances, those prescriptions cannot be transmitted as electronic data files to the pharmacy. Instead, the e-prescriptions must be printed out for signatures or faxed to a pharmacy. The DEA's rule would eliminate the need for a manual process.
Of particular interest to the voice biometrics community is that the new rule allows "biometrics" (including voice) to be used, as one of two-factors, to authenticate the identity of the e-prescriber. Specifically, the rule states that the “DEA is allowing the use of a biometric as a substitute for a hard token or password.” For a biometric to be acceptable, it must meet several requirements (e.g., a “false accept rate” of 0.001 or better, etc.).
The opportunity is there. Who will be the first to step up to the plate?
5 months ago