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New Hampshire: 1st in the Nation Primary State Takes a Stand on E-Prescribing

State Sends Message to Presidential Hopefuls

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Signaling increased momentum on electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), the state of New Hampshire recently announced the launch of new programs designed to increase physician adoption of this technology. Currently, fewer than one-in-ten physicians take advantage of e-prescribing, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

"New Hampshire is the first primary state and this initiative sends a strong signal to presidential hopefuls that advancing physician adoption of e-prescribing is a priority for the people of New Hampshire," said PCMA President & CEO Mark Merritt.

Merritt also noted that roughly 7,000 people a year die from medication errors and that e-prescribing is a big part of the solution because it provides physicians with patient medication histories, clinical decision support, and eliminates handwriting errors.

Governor John Lynch and his working group, the Citizens Health Initiative, have set the goal of 100 percent e-prescribing capability in the state by October 2008. Similarly, PCMA is leading the charge in Washington to ensure that physicians use e-prescribing in Medicare. A study from the Gorman Health Group found that requiring e-prescribing in Medicare could prevent up to 1.9 million medication errors and save the federal government billions over the next decade, even after providing physicians funds for equipment and training.

"America's seniors are the greatest victims of medication errors and e-prescribing offers the best way to solve the problem," added Merritt. "It is important that physicians use e-prescribing for their Medicare patients and receive the federal incentives they need to broaden adoption."

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: Charles Cote, 202-207-3605

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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