Magazine article Drug Topics

Software Alliance United on Patient Compliance Front

Magazine article Drug Topics

Software Alliance United on Patient Compliance Front

Article excerpt

What this country needs next, apparently, is an automatic prescription refill-reminder system. It could help considerably with patient compliance, some say.

Acting on that belief, The American Pharmacy Alliance is moving to coordinate standards among software vendors developing such a system. The alliance, a Lexington, Ky.-based joint venture among 16 pharmacy software companies that provide for the software needs of independent and smallchain pharmacies, also plans to promote the concept to potential clientspharmaceutical manufacturers and third-party payers.

Karl Steele, CEO of the alliance, told Drug Topics that fewer than five member vendors have so far developed such a system. But as these systems come into being, there needs to be some agreement among them regarding the parameters for flagging noncompliant patients, generating reminder notices, and distributing the reminders. One agreement is to have the software sort through a pharmacy's patient database in similar ways to find out which patients appear to be noncompliant.

There are different factors to consider in this, such as whether a person has high cholesterol, or whether a patient is taking a certain combination of drugs that suggests some other therapy isn't being used effectively. Setting up and agreeing on all these variables can be difficult to deal with among several competing vendors, Steele commented.

Another software vendor agreement is to have the software trigger refill reminders routed to a fulfillment house that, in turn, will print and send notification letters to physicians to notify them that one of their patients has not been refilling a prescription. …

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