PHARMACY

Surescripts handled more transactions than Amex or PayPal in 2014

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — Surescripts processed 6.5 billion health-data transactions in 2014, according to data reported in the 2014 National Progress Report released Tuesday. Signaling a major milestone in the digital transformation of health care in the United States, Surescripts handled more transactions in one year than American Express (6 billion) and PayPal (4.2 billion).
 
“Connecting the nation’s healthcare system is a monumental task, and while more work is needed to ensure true interoperability nationwide, there is no question that the Surescripts network is more connected than ever before,” said Tom Skelton, CEO Surescripts. “Healthcare is evolving and our collective ability to share health information is addressing a major pain point for providers and patients that ultimately saves time and money and improves the quality of care.”
 
At of the end of 2014, Surescripts connected 900,000 healthcare professionals, 61,000 pharmacies, 3,300 hospitals, 700 EHR software applications, 45 immunization registries and 32 state and regional networks, with access to health information for 230 million patients representing 71% of the U.S. population. 
 
In 2014, 56% of physicians and 95% of pharmacies processed 1.2 billion electronic prescriptions (67% of all new prescriptions) on the Surescripts network. But growth on the Surescripts network expanded beyond electronic prescribing to include 764 million medication history transactions and 7.4 million clinical messages. Much of the growth in the utilization of medication history data occurred in hospitals, with 44% of U.S. hospitals adopting the technology. Utilization of medication history data in acute care settings, such as hospital emergency rooms, increased 75% over 2013. 
 
Over the past three years, Surescripts has built the largest physician directory with more than 160,000 providers connected to exchange clinical messages, such as discharge and visit summaries, patient charts and referral orders. This capability helps hospitals meet regulatory requirements and improves patient outcomes. The volume of clinical messages that passed through the Surescripts network last year increased 1,300% over 2013. 
 
“Thousands of patients come through our doors each day. In order to know we are providing the best care, we need to understand their health histories and communicate with other care partners in a timely manner,” said Chuck Fennell, chief information officer, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center. “The most efficient way to meet that goal is to communicate electronically. Surescripts’ 2014 National Progress Report proves what we at St. Joseph’s already know – that healthcare is going digital.”
 
One area where the Surescripts network can play a significant role is addressing prescription fraud and abuse nationwide, particularly the more than two million Americans who abuse prescription painkillers. By eliminating the paper prescription and connecting physicians and pharmacists electronically, there is an opportunity to improve care, reduce fraud and identify potential instances of abuse, Surescripts stated. 
 
In the report, Surescripts ranks each state on its readiness to prescribe controlled substances electronically. The ranking is based on three factors: the percent of enabled pharmacies, the percent of enabled prescribers and the percent of controlled substances prescribed electronically, in each state. 
 
Top 10 States E-Prescribing Controlled Substances:
 
  1. Nebraska;
  2. California;
  3. Michigan;
  4. Massachusetts;
  5. Delaware;
  6. Illinois;
  7. Iowa;
  8. Rhode Island;
  9. Arizona; and
  10. Minnesota. 
While e-prescribing of controlled substances increased 400% in 2014, with a total of 1.7 million controlled substance e-prescriptions nationwide, this represents a small fraction of the opportunity that exists, Surescripts suggested. Across the country, 73% of pharmacies are ready to receive electronic prescriptions for controlled substances, but the number of prescribers who are ready to send them is just 1.4%. 
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N.C.-based pharmacy streamlines workflow with RxSafe 1800

BY DSN STAFF

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. — Innovation, makers of PharmASSIST pharmacy automation solutions, on Monday announced that Moose Pharmacy in Mt. Pleasant, N.C., has successfully implemented an RxSafe 1800 robotic storage and retrieval system. 

“The RxSafe has had an immediate impact on staff efficiency, security, and quality control. The system replaced three shelving bays, which eliminated the need to restock those shelves, and freed our staff from having to retrieve and return stock while filling prescriptions, both of which are huge time savers," said co-owner Whit Moose, R.Ph. "It also added an extra level of security for our C-II dispensing and quality control of our entire filling process, basically eliminating any opportunity for dispensing errors.”

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Endo creates generics powerhouse with Par acquisition

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN — Endo International on Monday acquired Par Pharmaceutical Holdings in a transaction valued at $8.1 billion, including assumption of Par debt. 
 
The combination will create a leading specialty pharmaceutical company with a generics business that is one of the industry's fastest growing and among the top five as measured by U.S. sales, Endo stated. It is also expected to help drive long-term double-digit revenue growth for Endo. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of Endo and Par, and is supported by the management teams of both companies. There are no further shareholder approvals required.
 
The purchase price will consist of approximately 18 million shares ($1.6 billion of value based on the 10-day volume weighted average share price of Endo ending on May 15, 2015) of Endo equity and $6.5 billion cash consideration to Par shareholders. Endo has secured fully committed financing from Deutsche Bank and Barclays to fund the cash consideration. Endo expects to implement a permanent capital structure to finance the transaction prior to the close that would include a combination of cash, debt and an equity offering.   
 
"Our generics business, Qualitest, continues to be an extremely attractive and effective growth driver for Endo. This transaction with Par builds upon our generics growth, adding a strong portfolio of high barrier-to-entry and attractive gross margin products while also transforming Endo, creating a powerful corporate platform for future growth and strategic M&A," said Rajiv De Silva, president and CEO of Endo. "We believe the acquisition of Par underscores the continued execution of Endo's value-driven M&A strategy and helps deliver on our goal of achieving double-digit revenue growth for the overall business over the long-term. We are also excited to welcome Paul Campanelli to the Endo leadership team. With more than 25 years of experience in the generics industry and nearly 15 years at Par, Paul has demonstrated a clear track record of success in innovation and strategic management in specialty generics."
 
"This is an exciting time of growth and opportunity in the generics and specialty pharmaceutical arenas. Par Pharmaceutical is committed to significantly expanding our scope, capacity and capabilities to realize the maximum value of our rich and diversified product portfolio and R&D pipeline. We believe our combination with Endo best positions us to do so," Campanelli, CEO of Par Pharmaceutical, said. "We share Endo's goal of developing and commercializing generic drugs in areas of greatest revenue potential, complex formulations and longer life cycles. I look forward to joining the Endo team and working together to achieve that goal."
 
Par Pharmaceutical is a privately-held company that was acquired through a take-private transaction by an affiliate of TPG in 2012.
 
"Over the last three years, we have enjoyed partnering with the Par team to create a more diversified company with expanded capabilities, an enhanced product pipeline and more robust business development opportunities, all resulting in significant growth," said Todd Sisitsky, managing partner of TPG Capital North America. "The success of Par, in part, reflects our continued focus and operational expertise in the growing healthcare industry. It has been a pleasure to invest in such a great company and support Par's outstanding management team as they have grown and diversified their business. As part of Endo, Par will be well-positioned to drive future growth and we look forward to continuing to participate in the company's next chapter of success."
 
With the addition of Par's product portfolio and R&D pipeline, Endo's already rapidly growing generics business unit is expected to become one of the largest and fastest growing in the industry, with double-digit revenue growth over the long-term and a broad product pipeline. The Par portfolio includes nearly 100 products in multiple dosage forms and delivery systems, including oral solids, oral suspensions, injectables and high barrier-to-entry products. This portfolio is highly profitable with increasing adjusted gross margins. The transaction is also expected to help drive double-digit growth for Endo's overall business, expanding the company's corporate scope, size and future M&A potential.
 
Par offers a pipeline consisting of more than 200 abbreviated new drug applications, 115 of which were filed with the Food and Drug Administration as of Dec. 31, 2014. Approximately 33% of the filed ANDAs are potential first-to-file or first-to-market opportunities and 75% of the overall development portfolio consists of Paragraph IV and first-to-file programs — all of which could provide a period of market exclusivity if approved. It is expected that the Par R&D pipeline could generate approximately 20 to 25 ANDA filings each year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
 
Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisors to Endo. JP Morgan acted as financial advisor to Par and its shareholders. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom were Endo's legal advisors and Ropes & Gray acted as legal advisors to Par and its shareholders.
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