FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., July 1 The historiccollaboration between retail pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers --resulting in the merger of two complementary ePrescribing networks -- willserve as a catalyst to fuel unprecedented growth in wiring the most-usedbenefit in America's health care delivery system, Medco Health Solutions, Inc.said in a statement today.
"Collaboration among retail pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers inpursuit of patient safety and health care efficiency represents a breakthroughthat will help to forge a new future in American pharmacy," said JohnDriscoll, President, New Markets, Medco. "For patients, payors, pharmacistsand physicians, ePrescribing will help to reduce prescribing errors and druginteractions and maximize the use of the most effective, lowest-cost therapies-- speeding the prescribing and dispensing process, while removing costs fromthe health care system."
RxHub, launched by a consortium of the nation's leading pharmacy benefitmanagers and SureScripts, a system sponsored by retail pharmacies earliertoday announced that they would merge their industry-leading systems in aneffort to further the adoption and use of ePrescribing technologies.
"The unification of SureScripts and RxHub creates a single platform fornationwide adoption and broad use of safe and secure ePrescribing technologiesat a time when Congress is considering financial incentives to doctors byincreasing Medicare and Medicare reimbursement for prescriptions transmittedelectronically," said Driscoll.
Technologies such as ePrescribing are considered pivotal in addressing theestimated 1.5 million preventable medication errors each year in the UnitedStates that cost the health care system as much as $3.5 billion.
A pioneer in adapting innovative technologies to advance pharmacy care,Medco invented the world's most advanced automated dispensing pharmacies, thelargest Internet pharmacy and in 2001 served as a founding member of RxHub.More than 55 percent of mail electronic prescriptions in the industry weresent to Medco's mail-order pharmacies during the first quarter of 2008. As amajor customer of network services for e-prescribing, Medco strongly supportsthis transaction.
Since 2005, Medco has partnered with health plans and private employers incollaborative ePrescribing pilots such as the award winning project inSoutheast Michigan. According to a recent survey of participating doctors:
-- Three out of four prescribers believe strongly that ePrescribingimproves safety for their patients.
-- Nearly 70 percent of respondents say it improves the quality of care.
-- More than 80 percent of all prescriptions written by those surveyed arecurrently written electronically; four of 10 practices now only writeePrescriptions.
-- More than 70 percent saw a reduction in communications with pharmaciesover prescription questions.
-- More than half strongly agree that ePrescribing saves clinicians timeand increases productivity.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacybenefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion.Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering approximately one-in-fiveAmericans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care forprivate and public employers, health plans, labor unions and governmentagencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part DPrescription Drug Program and those served by its specialty pharmacy segment,Accredo Health Group. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(TM), ispositioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complexconditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R), including itsenhanced diabetes pharmacy care practice through the Liberty acquisition.Medco is the highest-rank