Save the date - February 23, 2014 - and plan to attend "Pharmacy Day at the WV Legislature". It is your opportunity to inform your elected officials of issues important to your profession and your pharmacy. This annual event is hosted by WV Pharmacists Association.
Global e-prescribing to reach $887 million by 2019
The global market for e-prescribing systems is expected to grow from $250.2 million in 2013 to $887.8 million by 2019, according to a report from Transparency Market Research.
Government incentive programs are among the factors driving the market, which is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent over five years. The Research’s report foresees an immense potential for the growth in implementation of electronic health record systems that include e-prescribing.
However, there are barriers, which include cost and a lack of high-speed broadband and IT professionals in rural areas. A literature review published in Perspectives in Health Information Management also cited implementation costs as one of the primary barriers to adoption of e-prescribing.
North America is the fastest-growing market, according to the report, fuelded by the federal incentive program in the U. S. The nationwide health information network Surescripts
recently reported that more than 1 billion prescriptions were routed electronically in the U. S. during 2013, up from 788 million the previous year. It routed 58 percent of eligible prescriptions, including 73 percent of those written by office-based physicians.
E-prescribing a ‘gateway’ to improving patient care
The use of electronic prescribing among both prescribers and pharmacies is accelerating as “positive emerging trends”, according to a study conducted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and published in the American Journal of Managed Care.
The study used data from Surescripts, an electronic prescribing network. The researchers found that the percentage of individuals electronically prescribing jumped from 7 percent in 2008 to 54 percent in 2012. The vast majority of prescribers (86 percent) were using electronic health records systems for their e-prescribing tasks, while only 14 percent were using stand alone systems.
The percentage of retail pharmacies using e-prescribing increased from 70 percent in 2008 to 94 percent in 2012, a jump that also closed the gap between rural and urban pharmacies.
The study pointed out that e-prescribing through EHRs improves the availability of pharmacy benefits information and patient medication histories, and also correlates with better patient adherence to medications. It also suggested that using a complete EHR may add additional quality and other benefits.
Cost remains a barrier to e-prescribing, despite benefits
While e-prescribing has the potential to increase patient safety and medication adherence while saving money, implementation costs remain one of the biggest barriers to adoption in ambulatory practices, according to research published by Perspectives in Health Information Management.
Sending prescriptions electronically to pharmacies has the potential to save the U. S. healthcare system an estimated $27 million a year, the research points out. It potentially can help prevent more than two million adverse drug events a year, 130,000 of them life-threatening.
The literature review of 47 sources found e-prescribing responsible for cutting medication errors to as little as a seventh of their previous level. Improved patient outcomes and fewer patient visits have saved an estimated $140 billion to $240 billion over 10 years.
Fewer pharmacies call back for clarification, streamlining clinical practice workflow. There’s less paperwork and reduced risk of mistakes due to poor handwriting.
E-prescribing systems can be incorporated into electronic health record *EHR) systems or can be stand-alone systems in the ambulatory care setting.
However, 80 percent of primary care physicians cite lack of financial support as the major barrier to implementation. New technology requires training and information technology support for installation and upkeep. Federal incentives aren’t enough to lure some providers to adopt the systems, however. Some worry about having access to a complete patient record through e-prescribing systems.
Others worry about technology glitches and workflow issues creating e-prescribing errors – particularly alert fatigue. Privacy and legal issues remain a concern. Web-based and wireless systems created the potential for protected patient information to be stolen. Although the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration has allowed e-prescribing of controlled substances, the security requirements make these system expensive and cumbersome, according to the paper.
Surescripts’ most recent national report, issued last May, found that in 2012, 44 percent of prescriptions dispensed were routed electronically and 69 percent of physicians used e-prescribing in 2012.
Prescribers and dispensers alerted to Zohydro ER misuse
The below news article was published by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
"In a state with the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the nation, it is our responsibility to do all that we can to protect our citizens from drugs with high abuse potential. Significantly, healthcare providers are uniquely situated to control the spread of the substance abuse epidemic. In fact, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, 27.3% of certain non-medical opioid users are able to obtain opioids from a prescribing physician. As such, it is imperative that providers are educated on responsible prescribing. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine has already taken significant steps to do just that; and I applaud those efforts.
"Because Zophydro ER lacks abuse-deterrent properties, its release could fuel our State's prescription drug abuse problem. Hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin and Lortab, are already heavily abused in the Mountain State; and this new drug may contain up to 10 times as much hydrocodone as those products. Experts warn that just two tablets of Zohydro ER could kill an individual. The risks are obvious.
"It is my hope that we will continue to work together to fight the substance abuse epidemic in West Virginia."