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Executive Summary

Rx ELECTRONIC TRACING ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDS IN 1993 HHS APPROPRIATIONS legislation, which President Bush signed into law Oct. 6. The funding measure (HR 5677) appropriates $1 mil. in fiscal 1993 and for demonstration projects on electronic prescription drug billing and information management. The Senate Appropriations Committee report on HR 5677 stipulates that "where possible, the demos should be designed to facilitate and assist statewide and federal efforts to address illegal drug diversion and to improve prescribing practices." The committee said the Health Care Finance Administration should "support research and demonstration projects designed to enable a speedier and more successful move to a national uniform electronic billing and data system." Up to $10 mil. should be spent on the demonstration projects over the program's lifetime, it says. The provision reflects legislation (HR 5051) introduced by Rep. Stark (D-Calif.) ("The Pink Sheet" May 4, In Brief) to provide for demonstration projects on automated recordkeeping of the prescribing and dispensing of prescription drug products. However, Stark's bill specifically targeting Schedules II-IV controlled substances would have provided $20 mil. in the first year to fund projects in 10 states. HR 5677 does not require testing in any particular number of states and does not specify tracing of controlled substances.

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