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One Thing Washington Can Agree On: Time for E-Prescribing in Medicare
Date:12/13/2007

New Poll Shows Rural Seniors Want E-Prescribing in Medicare

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Washington gridlocks on so many issues, promoting electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) in Medicare is emerging as one issue that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on. "The Medicare Electronic Medication and Safety Protection (E-MEDS) Act of 2007," which will require that Medicare physicians begin to prescribe electronically, will save lives and money, and also fits perfectly into any Medicare package being discussed on Capitol Hill, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

Public support for e-prescribing in Medicare is strong. A new national poll finds that seniors in rural areas by a 2-1 margin think e-prescribing sounds like a good idea and support requiring rural Medicare providers to use the technology while allowing them additional assistance to adopt the system. Conducted by Ayres, McHenry & Associates, the poll of 600 seniors in mostly rural counties also shows that half of the seniors questioned take four or more prescription medicines on a regular basis. Half of these seniors are very or somewhat concerned that a new drug they are prescribed could lead to a negative reaction with other drugs they take.

E-prescribing improves safety by alerting a doctor when a drug they are about to prescribe might dangerously interact with other medications already being taken by their patient. E-prescribing also eliminates errors resulting from sloppy handwritten prescriptions being misread at the pharmacy counter.

"The E-MEDS Act addresses the single greatest barrier to e-prescribing adoption: lack of urgency in the physician community to modernize the way they prescribe. Unless all physicians face real consequences for continuing business as usual, few will begin e-prescribing and seniors will pay the price," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. "PCMA applauds the bipartisan leadership
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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