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PCMA: Some Drugmakers Lobbying to Limit E-Prescribing of Generics, Drug Safety Checks

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some drug manufacturers are aggressively pushing legislative proposals in states across the country that if enacted would undermine electronic prescribing's (e-prescribing) proven safety and savings benefits, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

"This campaign undermines e-prescribing's two main goals: improving patient safety and reducing prescription drug costs. Doctors should be able to check for dangerous drug-drug interactions and help patients find affordable options," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

E-prescribing provides physicians with clinical and cost information on prescription options that allows them to better counsel patients on which medications – including various lower cost alternatives – will be the safest and most affordable choices. The e-prescribing framework was passed by the federal government in 2003 in the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA).

Subsequently, the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) and the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) both established clear benchmarks that require physicians to use e-prescribing technology as part of fully functional health information technology (HIT) systems.

Specifically the state-based legislation would undermine e-prescribing's progress by:

  • Prohibiting doctors from seeing all lower cost options such as cheaper generics and preferred brands.
  • Preventing the technology from showing safety information such as drug-drug interactions.
  • Disallowing any choice of lower cost pharmacy options.

Legislation is currently pending in 11 states. Those states are: Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota.

PCMA represents the nation's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 200-plus million Americans.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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