Medicine, pharmaceutical care and people concept.

Are there Limitations to e-prescribing?

There is a push as an industry to do everything electronically. The prescribing process is just one of many that is being overhauled. This will allow better tracking of script writing from the physician’s office through the delivery of that script to the pharmacy and then hopefully into the patient’s hands. All of this is positive and will make finding and acting on information easier.

There is something brands should know about the limitations of one of those electronic processes; e-prescribing. While it can deliver your copay offer directly to the pharmacy as part of the e-script, your offer often gets lost once it gets to the pharmacy because your offer is not visible to the pharmacist. e-prescribing programs don’t deliver your copay offer to the pharmacist in a way it can be easily utilized. If you were thinking your offer just pops up on the pharmacist’s screen, think again.

The reason lies in the NCPDP computer system that the pharmacist uses. True, your copay offer has been transmitted to the pharmacy electronically with their script, but it’s in a special text field on a second page that the pharmacist typically doesn’t look at. Unless the pharmacist stumbles upon it, during their very busy day, your patient offer will not be utilized by the patient.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be fixed in the short term. Think of the NCPDP system kind of the way you think about the US government’s ability to get things done quickly. The “NCPDP panel” would need to identify this as an issue that needs to be changed. If they decide it should be changed, they will have to reconfigure all of the fields which could take years. 

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