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Surescripts unveils benefits-based prescription price transparency tool

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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Surescripts' latest tool will allow pharmacists to access information on out-of-pocket prescription costs and therapeutic alternatives at the point of dispensing.

Surescripts' Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy service provides pricing, coverage and prior authorization information directly from the patient’s benefit plan, which the company said offers pharmacies insight into different days' supply and options on the formulary that may be less expensive.

“The rising cost of many medications means that pharmacists are increasingly challenged by their patients to find cost-effective medication options on their behalf,” said Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton. “Previously, this required price checks across various medications and dose-form combinations and multiple callbacks to prescribers, just to get a list of viable options. Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy removes this burden and lets pharmacists get off the phone and back to patient care.”

BestRx, divvyDOSE, and Micro Merchant Systems/PrimeRx are live with the service, and the following pharmacy organizations are slated to offer it to their pharmacy staff or customers: Integra, KeyCentrix, NovoRx, and QS/1.

“With patients demanding ever-greater transparency in their healthcare spending, Real-Time Prescription Benefit helps pharmacists operate at the top of their license as expert members of their care team,” said Hemal Desai, BestRx Pharmacy Software president “BestRx implemented the service in February and has already gone live with over 1,000 stores nationwide. Within 10 minutes of going live with the service, one of our pharmacies in Illinois used it to switch a patient from a 30-day to 90-day fill, resulting in more than $800 of annual copay savings.”

When combined with RxChange, Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy lets pharmacists send electronic prescription change requests to the original prescriber, if they identify a therapeutically interchangeable drug or need to request a prior authorization—situations that would normally require multiple phone calls or faxes. They also may use these tools to recommend alternative medications that do not require prior authorization, decreasing the time to therapy and avoiding the administrative rework that often impacts care quality, patient satisfaction and medication adherence.

“We are thrilled to offer pharmacists the technology they need to streamline e-prescribing workflows and improve medication change-related communications with prescribers,” said Ketan Mehta, Micro Merchant Systems/PrimeRx CEO. “Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy puts pharmacists and their prescriber partners on a much clearer path to their shared goal of achieving the best possible outcomes for their patients.”

“As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists are primary points of care in dispensing needed medications, providing testing and counseling patients,” said National Community Pharmacists Association president Brian Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs, Kan. “With access to real-time, benefits-based prescription price information at the point of dispensing, pharmacists can help patients optimize the safe and effective use of their medication treatment at an affordable cost."