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Lack of Formulary Access Tops List of Limitations Primary Care Physicians Face With e-Prescribing Systems, Says New Research Report from SciMedica Group MR&C

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Primary care physicians are e-prescribing (transmitting drug prescriptions electronically) more than ever to increase accuracy and decrease costs, but a new report from SciMedica Group Marketing Research & Consulting reveals that these physicians are encountering significant obstacles with current e-prescribing systems, particularly in accessing accurate formulary information and prescribing branded products.

These limitations often favor the prescribing of generics, threatening the sales of established branded products as well as the growth of new brands. This gives the pharmaceutical industry a powerful incentive to help improve e-prescribing systems.

Ted Felix, president of SciMedica Group MR&C, says the E-Prescribing Syndicated (EPS) report offers important new insights into physicians' experiences and provides critical business intelligence.

"Pharma wants to know what barriers exist to e-prescribing its products, software developers want to know how doctors rate their systems, and both want to optimize e-prescribing," he notes. "With implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare imposing a higher penalty on physicians who fail to transmit a target number of e-prescriptions annually, e-prescribing is poised to expand rapidly. This is the time to solve the problems."

Key FindingsThe most striking finding of the SciMedica Group MR&C EPS report is that formulary information, including prior authorization, co-pays and other "utilization management" requirements, is frequently unavailable in current systems, according to participating physician respondents. Fewer than half said they have access to formulary information when e-prescribing and fewer than a third said they have access to prior authorization or co-pay information.Other factors cited as limiting to e-prescribing include the inability to e-prescribe controlled substances, technical difficulties transmitting e-prescriptions to pharmacies, and problems caused by missing or inaccurate patient information.

Implications for Pharma"These limitations have significant implications for the pharmaceutical industry," says Eric John, senior vice president of SciMedica Group MR&C, who oversaw development of the EPS report.

"If the formulary status of a drug is unavailable or inaccurate, physicians are more likely to prescribe a generic so the prescription isn't rejected at the pharmacy," he says.  "As an alternative, they'll generate most of their prescriptions from a limited 'favorites' list that contains products they know won't encounter barriers. Both of these practices deter brand use." 

Asked how pharma could help improve e-prescribing, more than a third of surveyed physicians said the industry should not be involved. Nearly half, however, said pharma should partner with e-prescribing software providers to ensure the accuracy of information within their systems, and 34.5 percent said pharma should provide grants or loans to install e-prescribing systems."Because of pharma's vested interest in the performance of e-prescribing systems, it's vital for companies to create a role for themselves in improving access and accuracy issues," says John. "Our report is a valuable, one-of-a-kind tool for understanding the issues and charting a plan of action. As a senior brand director from a large pharma company told us, the EPS report provides great insights and details for  optimizing brand performance in the rapidly changing e-prescribing landscape."

Ordering the Report The SciMedica Group MR&C EPS report is an annual subscription offering that allows tracking of results over time as well as potential expansion to other physician specialties. As a special offer, the 2013 premiere report, a 130-page compendium of original research findings, conclusions and recommendations, is available for half the list price when purchased with a subscription to the 2014 report. To order, or for further information, contact Eric John at (610) 234-2083 or

Research MethodologySciMedica Group MR&C partnered with SurveyHealthCare, a leading healthcare data collection market research company, to conduct 60-minute surveys with 200 primary care physicians with varying levels of e-prescribing experience. For as accurate a picture of different systems as possible, respondents completed the survey while interfacing with their own e-prescribing software.

Information was gathered in numerous areas, including most commonly used features, how certain branded medications appear in different systems, and unmet needs. The study also ranked e-prescribing systems by specific attributes and overall perceived value.

About SciMedica Group Marketing Research & ConsultingSciMedica Group MR&C is an independent, full-service medical education agency and market research and consulting firm serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. For more information, visit

* * *CONTACT:Cynthia Amorese (908) 665-8072

Email: camorese@comcast.netJulie Laitin (646) 568-1877


SOURCE SciMedica Group Marketing Research & Consulting
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