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CVS to report on effects of e-prescribing


WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark, in conjunction with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, will present data on April 18 at the annual meeting of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy that demonstrates how the iScribe e-prescribing tool helps professionals identify and assess medication noncompliance.

“While it is widely recognized that medication noncompliance contributes to adverse drug events, poor health outcomes and increased healthcare costs, research to date has focused on patients who discontinue therapy and has not been able to account for primary noncompliance, where medications prescribed to begin therapy are never filled by the patient,” stated Jan Berger, chief clinical officer for CVS Caremark. “The data collected using iScribe e-prescribing technology, shows us not only that there is an extremely high rate of primary noncompliance for medications to treat cardiovascular conditions, which places patients at increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but also provides information that can help shape how and when healthcare providers can most effectively intervene with education and support.”

The study, conduct in conjunction with Horizon BCBSNJ, analyzed when and if prescriptions written for the treatment of various chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, were dispensed to patients. Data was collected between Jan. 1, 2005 and Oct. 31, 2006 from a subset of 507 Horizon BCBSNJ providers who use iScribe e-prescribing technology. Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis comparing prescriptions for medications to treat chronic diseases as well as prescriptions for antibiotics written via iScribe during this time period to submitted drug claims for medications dispensed between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2006.

Study results found a high rate of noncompliance among all patients taking medications to treat a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, with about 18 percent of those prescriptions unfilled after 60 days.

Noncompliance among patients continuing therapy was about 6 percent, while noncompliance rates for patients initiating therapy with cardiovascular medication were much higher, with up to 70 percent of patients noncompliant after 60 days.

With iScribe, prescribers can send prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy from either a handheld PDA or desktop computer. It provides the prescriber with generic and formulary coverage information and they can check for potentially harmful drug interactions at the point of prescribing. Prescribers can also follow up with patients when iScribe alerts them to unfilled prescriptions.

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