PHARMACY

Loose ends should be tied to make e-prescribing a reality

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Relative to the national chains, independent pharmacies have limited resources and, given the importance and benefit of e-prescribing, further helping to facilitate the adoption of e-prescribing via grants — not to mention facilitating two-way communication between prescribers and pharmacists — is critical to help push overall adoption closer to the finish line.

THE NEWS: (NCPA: E-prescribing should be more efficient in two-way communication, cost. For the full story, click here)

As stated in the article, the National Community Pharmacists Association, at a recent e-prescribing committee, recommended providing grants to offset implementation and transaction fee costs and making two-way communication between prescribers and pharmacists easier.

In written testimony at a hearing of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Information Technology Policy Committee Information Exchange Workgroup, the NCPA acknowledged that community pharmacists have a vested interest in making e-prescribing work but yet cost challenges remain.

E-prescribing has been praised ­especially in recent years ­ as it has been shown to increase the likelihood that patients will get their prescriptions filled and, in turn, avoid more expensive medical procedures. There’s also less of a chance for errors compared with paper prescriptions.

E-prescribing has achieved impressive milestones in recent years but the journey is far from over. In October 2009, e-prescribing network provider Surescripts announced that 23% of all office-based physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the United States are now e-prescribing. At that rate, Surescripts projected that its total number of active e-prescribers in 2009 would more than double the 74,000 active e-prescribers at the end of 2008.

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PHARMACY

Good Neighbor Pharmacy, InSite extranet wins Best in Class award

BY Jim Frederick

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. Drug wholesaler and health services giant AmerisourceBergen and its Good Neighbor Pharmacy retail division have been tapped for a “best in class award” for their effort to improve business practices through advanced technology.

The award came at the MicroStrategy World 2010 conference Wednesday. GNP’s InSite system was honored as a cutting-edge extranet application for pharmacy owners.

The InSite system, powered by MicroStrategy, is a business intelligence application developed for retail pharmacies. Within the system are dashboards that provide analytics and personalized information to help pharmacy owners –– including those that own and operate the more than 3,500 GNP locations nationwide –– make better business decisions.

“The management team and our Good Neighbor Pharmacy customers have worked diligently on developing this extranet site which will allow pharmacy owners to uncover opportunities to expand their business, reduce unnecessary costs, help with reimbursement strategies and identify and attract patients with critical needs,” said Chuck Reed, group VP for business management in AmerisourceBergen’s retail sales and marketing unit.

The InSite system also allows customers to compare their performance against peer-group pharmacies, and improve their interactions with patients.

“This is the Web site that allows the retail pharmacist to track their prescription fills, see how they fare against other pharmacies of similar size and markets, and see where they need to improve or are making progress against several key performance indicators,” explained ABC spokesperson Nora Beger.

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Teva UK launches generic eye treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

CASTLEFORD, England The British subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has launched a treatment for intra-ocular pressure resulting from ocular hypertension, open-angle glaucoma and pseudo-exfoliative glaucoma, the generic drug maker announced Thursday.

Teva UK launched dorzolamide eye drops in the 2% strength, which is meant for use as an adjunctive therapy to beta blockers or for patients who have not responded to treatment with beta blockers.

The drug is a generic version of Trusopt, made by MSD in the United Kingdom and Merck & Co. in the United States.

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