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Medco Partners to Develop Patient-Safety System for Prescription Drugs in Sweden
Date:3/31/2008

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 qu
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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