PHARMACY

eRx transmits more than 2.1 million prescriptions in first half of year

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON Between January and June of this year, more than 2.1 million electronic prescriptions were transmitted through the eRx Collaborative, bringing the total over the last four-and-a-half years to 15.6 million, eRx announced Monday.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Tufts Health Plan and Neighborhood Health Plan founded the eRx Collaborative in 2003 to encourage the adoption of electronic prescribing, also known as e-prescribing, in Massachusetts. It uses Zix Corp.’s PocketScript and DrFirst’s Rcopia software packages and has helped more than 5,600 prescribers adopt e-prescribing since its founding.

E-prescribing allows doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to access patients’ drug histories, create and renew prescriptions electronically, check for interactions between drugs and allergies and send prescriptions to pharmacies by fax or electronic data interchange.

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PHARMACY

Pharmacy drives higher percentage of grocery store numbers

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. Drug stores are the traditional sources for all things pharmaceutical, but grocery stores are moving in to challenge their dominance, according to The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind.

As prescription sales grow in proportion to overall sales, supermarkets have begun positioning themselves as health shops, as well. Cincinnati-based Kroger, for example, hopes to edge itself into the market with a cholesterol-reducing milk sold under its Active Lifestyle private label while also selling anti-cholesterol medication.

According to the Food Marketing Institute, drug sales at supermarkets increased by 3.4 percent, to 9.4 percent, between 1997 and 2007. Also, between 1996 and 2006, the number of supermarket pharmacies increased from 6,155 to 10,163, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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PDX, Rx.com to partner with Google Health on electronic records

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT WORTH, Texas Google Health’s roster of business partners keeps on expanding.

PDX and Rx.com announced Monday that they were partnering with Google Health to make prescription data managed for chain and independent pharmacies available to Google Health users, allowing any pharmacy using the PDX Electronic Health Record or the Rx.com Electronic Prescription Record to import customers’ prescription histories into Google Health.

Each of the company’s pharmacy clients can have its own relationship with Google Health, but PDX will integrate the pharmacy with the Google Health platform.

“PDX is pleased to be the first aggregator of multi-pharmacy electronic prescription records to enter into a strategic relationship with Google,” said Ken Hill, chief executive officer of PDX and Rx.com. “This new agreement will allow our pharmacy customers—both chain and independents—the ability to integrate client prescription history into Google Health at the user’s request.”

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