Affordable Prescriptions

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Medical patients are always interested in affordable medications, especially with ever-increasing drug costs. One of the beneficial by-products of electronic medication and management systems is a reduction in expenses because unnecessary tasks are eliminated and time is saved. By streamlining medication delivery systems, ePrescribing cuts expenses and, in general, lowers health costs.

Cutting Costs

Statistics show that over the last 10 years, the number of prescriptions that are filled has grown between two percent and seven percent every year. The number of drugs has mushroomed over 500 percent since 1990, yet there is a shortage of pharmacists to dispense medications. The complexity of modern prescribing requires sophisticated solutions, and ePrescribing brings answers for the problems created by the lack of standards in the medication delivery system.

With the insistent push from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ePrescribing is the future of this delivery system. This federal agency monitors legislation that decrees there will be ePrescribing standards and infrastructures by April 1, 2009, and the agency has financial incentives that it will use to gain compliance. Part of the rationale for implementing a national system is that it will cut health costs by creating a much more efficient operation.

When pharmacists no longer need to make over 150 million calls a year to physicians' offices for clarification of handwritten prescriptions, this will cut costs because the time saved that can be spent with patients and customers. With a reduction in medical errors, the nation will save upwards of $38 billion annually. Right now, physicians can write ePrescriptions in five seconds and send them directly to a pharmacy. Such speed and efficiency benefits all parties involved in the prescription process.

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