NACDS’ Anderson voices support for bill to spur physician e-prescribing

ALEXANDRIA, Va. New legislation aimed at encouraging physicians to more quickly adopt electronic prescribing quickly won support from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

The bipartisan bill was unveiled in the Senate Wednesday by Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, along with Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada. Known as the Medicare Electronic Medication and Safety Protection Act of 2007, or the E-MEDS Act, the bill would offer doctors financial incentives in the Medicare program for transmitting prescriptions to pharmacies electronically on behalf of Medicare-enrolled patients.

In a letter dated Dec. 5, NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson thanked the three lawmakers for their “leadership in furthering the adoption of electronic prescribing, and noted that pharmacies have already devoted “tremendous resources” to e-prescribing technology.

“For various reasons, physicians generally have not been as enthusiastic about the adoption of e-prescribing technology into their practice as pharmacies and pharmacists,” Anderson noted. “We are hopeful that incentives, such as those provided by the E-MEDS Act, will provide physicians with the necessary resources to move them to adopt this critical technology.”

In his letter, Anderson also added another industry appeal for better recognition of—and payment for—the services that pharmacies provide. “It is important to remember that in addition to encouraging physician adoption of e-prescribing,” he told lawmakers, “it is also critical to provide fair reimbursement to pharmacies for the dispensing of prescription drug and pharmacy services.”

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