PHARMACY

New study posits ‘substantial’ savings through greater adoption of e-prescribing

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Doctors who prescribe electronically are shifting more of their patients to generic drugs and saving health plan payers and patients themselves money, a new study reports.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that physicians who adopted electronic prescribing increased their prescribing of generics and other lower-cost options, resulting in savings for consumers and insurers of $845,000 per 100,000 patients per year.

The pharmacy benefit management industry was quick to seize on the results. “This confirms e-prescribing will result in tremendous savings and is the cornerstone to greater adoption of electronic medical records and other health information technologies,” said Mark Merritt, president and chief executive officer of the PBM industry’s national trade group, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

Driving the greater tendency toward generic prescribing among doctors already using paperless prescribing, noted PCMA, is the greater immediate access to information those doctors have. “E-prescribing provides physicians with clinical and cost information on prescription options that allows them to better counsel consumers on which medications—including various lower cost options—will be the safest and most affordable choices,” noted the organization in a statement.

The study’s authors described the technology’s potential savings as “substantial” if it were widely adopted. E-prescribing technology is currently being used by more than 35,000 doctors nationwide, according to one estimate.

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Gilead sues Teva over approval application for generic Truvada

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Gilead Sciences has filed a lawsuit against Israeli generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and a subsidiary.

Gilead, which filed the suit Friday in a United States District Court in New York, alleged that Teva committed patent infringement when it filed an approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Truvada (emtricitabine), a drug for treating HIV.

Gilead has a license to manufacture and sell the drug from Emory University in Atlanta.

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Take Care adds another clinic to its network in Miami/Fort Lauderdale area

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has opened one new clinic in the Miami/South Fort Lauderdale area. The opening marks the 10th Take Care Clinic in the market.

The company currently operates 313 clinics in 18 states.

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