Magazine article Drug Topics

(Inter)net Gain

Magazine article Drug Topics

(Inter)net Gain

Article excerpt

Pharmacy benefit management has been launched into cyberspace, thanks to an agreement between PCS Health Systems Inc. and the University of Texas. The university chose PCS to manage the drug benefit program for its 140,000 plan members.

What sets the agreement apart from the run-of-the-mill multiyear PBM contract is that PCS is using the Internet as a vital tool in managing the program. Member eligibility information will be transmitted electronically to PCS, using advanced encoding and security features.

"What other customers do is mail it to us on tapes, but the University of Texas is transmitting that information to us compressed and encoded through the Internet," said PCS spokesman Blair Jackson.

It didn't take much of a sell job to get the school to try something a little different; the university basically drove the idea to fruition. PCS had been developing a prototype for data transfer as long as nine months before the University of Texas agreement. "Their interest in this really just sort of meshed with what we were doing," Jackson said. "They already had their Internet infrastructure in place; we already had ours. …

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