PBM trade group enlists Bootman in its new e-Rx advocacy campaign

WASHINGTON The pharmacy benefit management industry’s leading trade group is accelerating its campaign to drive electronic prescribing, and it’s enlisting the support of a high-profile and highly respected pharmacy educator and practice advocate to help drive home the message.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association today announced the launch of a new round of TV advertising to spur the adoption of e-prescribing by the nation’s physicians, who as a group have lagged far behind retail pharmacies in their embrace of e-prescribing technologies. To drive home the message, PCMA is featuring L. Lyle Bootman, dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona, in its ads.

Bootman is a vocal advocate of linking physicians and pharmacists through electronic data communications and health information technology, and last year co-chaired an Institute of Medicine committee that recommended that all physicians begin using e-prescribing by 2010 to help reduce the estimated 1.5 million preventable medication errors that occur in the United States annually. “However, fewer than one-in-ten physicians currently use e-prescribing technology,” noted PCMA today.

Bootman also serves as chairman of the recently formed advocacy group Pharmacists for the Protection of Patient Care.

“Thousands of people die every year because of preventable medication errors,” Bootman says in the PCMA spot. “Many of them are America’s seniors.”

According to the IOM, each year some 7,000 people die from medication errors.

Along with the TV ad, PCMA is also running a print ad with the headline: While You Wait. The print advertisement urges Congress to require e-prescribing in Medicare as a solution to the medication-error death rate.

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