PCMA: New Study Highlights ‘Substantial’ Savings Opportunities with E-Prescribing
December 17, 2008
Physicians Who Adopted Technology Prescribed More Generics and other Lower Cost Options
(Washington, DC)-A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that physicians who adopted electronic prescribing (e-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 study highlights the cost-savings associated with the technology, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.
“This confirms e-prescribing will result in tremendous savings and is the cornerstone to greater adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) and other health information technologies,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.
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.
The study examined the eRx Collaborative program in Massachusetts in which two large insurers (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the Tufts Health Plan of Massachusetts) worked with a maker of e-prescribing systems, Zix Corp. The study found e-prescribing savings for consumers and insurers of $845,000 per 100,000 patients per year and 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. In driving passage of the Medicare e-prescribing law, PCMA led a diverse group of consumers, employers, unions, and medical professionals which included among others: AARP, AFL-CIO, Consumers Union, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and AT&T.
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.