Coalition of Business, Unions, and Consumer Groups Call on Congress to Require E-Prescribing in Medicare

October 17, 2007

Initiative Would Improve Safety, Increase Savings

(Washington, DC)— Signaling continued momentum on the issue of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), a broad coalition of consumer, union, business, purchaser groups, and other prescription drug stakeholders is calling on Congress to ensure that physicians use e-prescribing in Medicare by 2010. Currently, less than one-in-ten physicians use this technology.

In a letter to congressional committee leaders, the coalition called on policymakers to implement a safety requirement that e-prescribing be used for all Part D prescriptions. Requiring e-prescribing in Medicare could prevent 1.9 million adverse drug events over the next ten years and save billions, even after providing physicians with funds for equipment and training.

“This broad coalition wants Congress to make sure that seniors are protected from further preventable medication errors,” said PCMA President & CEO Mark Merritt.

Those who signed the letter to Chairmen Charles Rangel, John Dingell & Max Baucus and Ranking Members Jim McCrery, Joe Barton & Charles Grassley include:

Consumer/Labor Groups

· Consumers Union
· Families USA
· National Consumers League
· National Partnership for Women & Families
· SEIU
· AFL-CIO
· International Union, United Auto Workers

Business/Public Purchasers

· HR Policy Association
· The ERISA Industry Committee
· Aetna
· The Corporate Health Care Coalition (CHCC)
· The National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Pension Plans
· Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System
· The Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable
· Pacific Business Group on Health

Prescription Drug Stakeholders

· Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
· National Association of Chain Drug Stores
· Walgreens
· RxHub
· The Coalition for a Competitive Pharmaceutical Market (CCPM)
· Apotex
· The Generic Pharmaceutical Association

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PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 210 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D.

Contact Information:
Charles Coté 202-207-3605

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