RxHub, SureScripts Merge to Accelerate E-prescribing-July 2008

Eileen Koutnik-Fotopoulos, Staff Writer
Published Online: Thursday, July 17, 2008
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The nation’s retail pharmacies and the 3 largest prescription benefit managers (PBMs) are now working together to accelerate the transition from paper-based to electronic prescribing (e-prescribing). The merger will advance the accuracy, efficiency, and quality of information associated with the 4 billion prescriptions written annually in the United States.

 

The groups have merged 2 organizations: RxHub, founded in 2001 by PBMs—CVS Caremark Corp, Express Scripts Inc, and Medco Health Solutions Inc—and SureScripts, also formed in 2001 by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). The organizations will consolidate their operations, forming a single, secure, nationwide network for e-prescriptions and the exchange of health data.

 

RxHub’s expertise in patient identification and delivering drug benefit information to the physician at the point of care complements SureScripts’ focus on e-prescription routing from the physician’s office to the pharmacy. The collaboration will allow physicians to transmit e-prescriptions and renewal requests to both retail and mail-order pharmacies. With this information more readily available, the process of prescribing medications will:

  • Provide physicians with added knowledge of their patients
  • Ensure that the medicine intended by the physician is actually and accurately communicated to the pharmacy
  • Allow patients to weigh important vital economic considerations within a range of appropriate clinical options before a script is written

“This merger sets aside historic economic and political differences to do what is necessary to advance paperless prescribing and the secure exchange of critical information between providers—instantly elevating the quality of care,” said John Driscoll, president, New Markets, Medco Health Solutions Inc.

 

Bruce Roberts, RPh, NCPA executive vice president and chief executive officer, said both organizations are committed to improving health care. “The combined strengths of the 2 organizations will enable the delivery of a single suite of services that will dramatically improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of one of the largest segments of health care.”

 

This year, the combined organizations expect to transmit 100 million e-prescription transactions and respond to >70 million requests by physicians confirming information about their patients’ drug coverage and medication history.

 

 



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