E-prescribing costs drop

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and , ST. PAUL, Minn. —It’s getting cheaper to generate, receive and process electronic prescriptions. E-prescribing network provider Surescripts made its new, lower pricing policy official Feb. 16.

Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis first revealed plans to lower the company’s pricing policy in an interview published in the Jan. 12, 2010, issue of Drug Store News. At that time, Totonis predicted Surescripts would cut its prices to chain and independent pharmacies by an average of 10% to 20%. The new policy went into effect for many subscribers in January.

“Our decision to lower prices fulfills a public promise made when legacy SureScripts and RxHub were founded,” Totonis said. “Three things have enabled us to keep this promise: Surescripts’ ongoing commitment to its own operational efficiency, the economies of scale resulting from the [RxHub-Surescripts] merger and Surescripts’ success in working with healthcare organizations across the country.”

Totonis indicated that more price reductions might follow. “As we add more participants to the network, this will continue to drive down the cost of e-prescribing, as our efficiency, scale and economics improve,” he said.

Stanton McComb, president of McKesson Pharmacy Systems, acknowledged “the economic pressures that our customers are under,” and vowed support for Surescripts’ move. “MPS felt that it was important to support and extend Surescripts’ price reductions as quickly as possible to our software customers to support this advancement in pharmacy care and also support our customers economically.”

In another mid-February development, Surescripts announced the formation of the HIE Advisory Committee. The committee will help Surescripts “engage, listen and work out the operational details of a prescription history service for [health information exchanges] and other appropriate community entities,” the company noted.

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