Magazine article Drug Topics

New Program Reveals Whether the Patient Filled the Rx

Magazine article Drug Topics

New Program Reveals Whether the Patient Filled the Rx

Article excerpt

Everybody knows that many patients fail to get their prescriptions filled. But who are these patients? ProxyMed Inc., a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., is starting a program that attempts to answer just that question.

The program requires that both physicians and community pharmacies be on-line with one another, explained Jack Guinan, executive v.p. at ProxyMed. Through a software system called ProxyScript, the physician electronically sends an Rx order directly to the pharmacy. Upon receiving the prescription, the pharmacist knows the name of the patient who is expected to come in and have the Rx filled. If the patient doesn't show up to pick up the prescription, the pharmacist knows that, too, and can respond by calling the patient or the patient's physician.

Guinan projected that the program would be tested within a limited group of community pharmacies by the end of June. He declined to say which pharmacies would be part of the program, but he indicated that they are ones that are already on-line with ProxyScript--perhaps including the 21 stores ProxyMed sold to Eckerd Corp. in mid-March.

Guinan noted that the ProxyScript program was meant to help community pharmacies--especially independents--more than physicians. The pharmacies get prescreened prescriptions directly from local physicians, making it easier to process claims.

"We've taken a lot of the administrative tasks and managed care-imposed tasks and put them back in the lap of the doctor, where they really belong," he commented. "We feel that, by using the system, the pharmacist can spend much more time filling prescriptions and counseling the patients."

ProxyScript conducts the same sort of drug utilization reviews that otherwise occur on-line at the computer terminal in a community pharmacy--but in the physician's office, instead, he explained.

Before a physician sends a prescription to a pharmacy, he or she can check the Rx on-line to see whether it is covered on the patient's health plan formulary, whether it is free of any harmful drug-drug or other interactions, whether it has any conflict with a patient's preexisting medical conditions, and whether there are any duplicate prescriptions, he said.

Once the on-line checks are done, the physician can either hand the patient a printed copy of the prescription or electronically transmit the Rx to the closest pharmacy participating in the program. …

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