FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ, STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today announced a collaboration with Sweden's government-operated retail pharmacy authority, Apoteket, to develop and test the first automated electronic prescription-review system to improve clinical and financial outcomes for Swedish patients and the country's health care system.
Under the agreement, Medco and Apoteket will jointly develop an advanced, customized system to perform safety-checks on each prescription prior to dispensing - warning pharmacists of drug interactions, excessive dosing or any other issue related to dispensing a prescription. Such drug utilization review systems are commonplace today in the United States, but do not exist in many other countries.
Adverse drug events are a considerable and urgent problem. In Sweden it is estimated that 30 percent of the emergency care visits and 10 percent of all hospital admissions are the result of prescription drug-related issues.
"As more patients in Sweden are routinely treated by larger numbers of doctors, and in the future they may use different pharmacies, this system will provide a safety net for patients and their physicians, who may not be aware of all the medicines that may have been prescribed by other clinicians," said Erik Thorsell, Apoteket's executive for quality assurance.
Currently, all Swedish pharmacies are operated by Apoteket, the government entity responsible for prescription pharmacy care nationwide. The new system is being developed as Sweden moves toward deregulating the retail pharmacy market in 2009.
"Many of the health care issues abroad are different than those faced in the United States, however the quest for patient safety, clinical excellence, dispensing accuracy and lower cost remains the same," said John Driscoll, Medco president for New Markets. "We are committed to supporting payors and patients in any market where our innovative and proprietary technologies could help to lower the cost of delivering high-quality clinical care."
The utilization review system to be developed for Sweden is intended to become part of the common high-technology infrastructure used by all retail pharmacies in the future, when the Swedish retail pharmacy market is deregulated and competitors enter the marketplace. This would ensure comprehensive, uniform and consistent reviews of each prescription, for all patients, independent of which pharmacy is used to dispense the medicine.
"We are delighted that the Swedish government endorses the development of these technologies. Our combined experience will allow us to quickly develop and implement an industry-leading drug utilization review system, customized for the Swedish market - achieving considerable savings for the health care system and improving the quality of care for individual patients," said Stefan Carlsson, Apoteket managing director.
Added Driscoll: "We are pleased to work with Apoteket in support of this initiative to embrace innovative and proprietary technologies that will help to raise the standards for quality pharmacy care, improving financial and clinical outcomes for patients and society. This places Sweden at the forefront across Europe for advancing the standards for pharmacy care provided to their citizens."
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed and this transaction is not expected to have an impact on Medco's earnings or results of operations.
Medco Health Solutions, Inc., (NYSE: MHS) is the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager based on its 2007 total net revenues of more than $44 billion. Medco's prescription drug benefit programs, covering one in five Americans, are designed to drive down the cost of pharmacy health care for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions and government agencies of all sizes, and for individuals served by the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. Medco, the world's most advanced pharmacy(TM), is positioned to serve the unique needs of patients with chronic and complex conditions through its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers(R); its diabetes pharmacy care practice, Liberty Medical; and its specialty pharmacy operation, Accredo Health Group, Inc. Medco is the highest-ranked independent pharmacy benefit manager on the 2007 Fortune 500 list. On the Net: http://www.medco.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward- looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
|SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.|
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