PHARMACY

Majority of office-based doctors use e-prescribing, Surescripts says

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — A majority of doctors in the United States now prescribe electronically, the country’s largest e-prescribing network said Wednesday.

Surescripts announced that more than 52% of office-based doctors now use e-prescribing. The company presented the statistic in an online event featuring healthcare leaders and providers from across the country who gathered to receive the Safe-Rx Award, which Surescripts gives to the top 10 states based on their use of e-prescribing.

"Congratulations to this year’s Safe-Rx Award winners and to all the states for taking action to improve one of the most fundamental parts of our nation’s healthcare system," Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said. "In three short years, the nation has moved from less than 10% to more than 50% of physicians e-prescribing. This represents one of the most significant milestones achieved to date in the nationwide effort to adopt and achieve meaningful-use health information technology."

According to additional statistics released Wednesday, there are 357,000 active prescribers in the Surescripts network, including office-based physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, while 94% of pharmacies nationwide are now connected and receiving e-prescriptions. Meanwhile, the top 10 states with the highest rates of e-prescribing are: Massachusetts, Delaware, Michigan, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Iowa, Oregon and North Carolina.

To find out more about the event, click here.


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PHARMACY

BioScrip sales increase, profits decrease in Q3

BY Alaric DeArment

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — Specialty pharmacy provider BioScrip reported $454 million in sales and $500,000 in profits in third quarter 2011, according to an earnings statement released Tuesday.

The sales figure represented a 2.9% increase over third quarter 2010’s $441.2 million, while the profits compared with profits of $2 million during the same period a year ago.

"Overall, growth occurred in spite of a challenging economic environment impacting demand for services, lower acuity levels, shifts in reimbursement rates and other short-term trends impacting companies industry wide," BioScrip president and CEO Rick Smith said. "The diversification that we have in our payer mix has enabled us to keep making forward progress."


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PHARMACY

Ohio Northern University honors three College of Pharmacy alumni

BY Alaric DeArment

ADA, Ohio — Ohio Northern University’s Raabe College of Pharmacy gave three alumni its Distinguished Alumni Awards last week.

The alumni were 1982 graduate Mark Gregory, currently VP pharmacy and government relations for Raleigh, N.C.-based Kerr Drug, former president of the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and former chair of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Policy Council, as well as current chairman of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association; 1987 graduate Renee Coffman, co-founder, EVP quality assurance and intercampus consistency and dean of the College of Pharmacy of the Roseman University of Health Sciences; and 1983 graduate Susan Meyer, associate dean for education and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

"We are extremely honored to recognize these distinguished alumni for their significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy," Ohio Northern University College of Pharmacy dean Jon Sprague said. "These individuals have helped build the proud tradition and excellence of Ohio Northern’s pharmacy college."


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