Surescripts unveils lower pricing policy

ALEXANDRIA, Va., and ST. PAUL, Minn., Electronic prescribing network provider Surescripts made its new, lower pricing policy official Tuesday, announcing that it has lowered the cost of e-prescribing services used millions of times a day by physicians, pharmacists and pharmacy benefit managers.

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 indendent pharmacies by an average of 10% to 20%.

Tuesday’s announcement is the company’s formal unveiling of that policy, which went into effect for many subscribers in January.

In part, said Totonis, the company’s ability to cut the cost of paperless prescribing for doctors, pharmacists and PBMs sprang from the merger last year of rival RxHub with Surescripts. “Our decision to lower prices fulfills a public promise made when legacy SureScripts and RxHub were founded,” said Totonis. “Three things have enabled us to keep this promise: Surescripts’ ongoing commitment to its own operational efficiency; the economies of scale resulting from the merger; and Surescripts’ success in working with healthcare organizations across the country to create and meet the growing demand for e-prescribing.”

Totonis indicated that more price reductions may follow as health information technology and electronic communications efficiencies further transform the U.S. health care system. “We are not done yet,” he vowed. “With this price reduction, we are focused on the opportunity to connect even more physicians, pharmacies, payers and patients. 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.

“As this occurs, we will again pass those savings along to the industry,” Totonis promised.

Surescripts was founded in 2001 by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association to foster the adoption of e-prescribing, improve efficiencies and lower costs. It has grown to become the nation’s largest e-prescription network.

“For community pharmacies, this growth not only lowers the cost of e-prescribing, but begins to realize the gains in efficiency that we all envisioned from the beginning,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts.

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