In Case of Emergency, "Rx History" Will Help Physicians and Pharmacists Provide More Informed, Better Care to Evacuees and Patients in Need of Prescription Medicines
PHOENIX, NACDS Annual Meeting - April 24, 2007 - Today, the nation's community pharmacies joined together to announce a new initiative that will provide individuals who have been displaced by natural disasters or other emergencies with faster, safer access to life-saving prescription medications. Based on learnings from Hurricane Katrina, the new initiative uses technology that would allow licensed prescribers and pharmacists anywhere in the country to securely access an information service containing the prescription history, or "Rx History," of a patient from the affected area. In the midst of an emergency, Rx History reduces the risk of medication errors by making critical information available to licensed caregivers when and where they are treating patients. All communications within Rx
History are compliant with HIPAA and state laws with respect to privacy and security.
In Case of Emergency: Rx History
A properly authenticated and licensed physician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or pharmacist can use Emergency Rx History to confirm the details of a patient's pre-emergency drug regimen, including dosage and physician instructions. Rx History also allows a patient's physician and pharmacist to make a more informed check for - and thus increase the chance of avoiding - potentially harmful drug interactions. Providing secure access to detailed clinical data such as this can, in a time of crisis, allow licensed caregivers to prescribe and dispense drugs in
a more informed, effective and timely manner.
The clinical value of electronic medication records was never illustrated more clearly than in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Many Katrina evacuees who took prescription medications before the hurricane were displaced with no medications and no access to their medical records, most of which were paper-based and either destroyed or unavailable. This created yet another threatening situation for patients already at risk from the disaster itself, especially those who relied on prescription medications to treat chronic illness.
Rx History was first tested as part of a response by community pharmacies and other healthcare leaders to help Hurricane Katrina victims who needed medications, but often had no prescription information. In these situations, licensed caregivers were able to access medication histories from community pharmacies via KatrinaHealth.org.
"Making prescription histories available to licensed caregivers in the aftermath of a disaster can mean the difference between life and death," said Dr. Roxane Townsend, deputy secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. "Hurricane Katrina revealed how extremely challenging it can be to treat patients in desperate need of medication, but for whom you have no clinical information source. Providing authenticated caregivers with secure, electronic access to a patient's prescription history can help a physician or pharmacist avoid errors during a stressful situation when they are most likely to occur. For anyone on multiple medications or a medication for a chronic condition, the Emergency Rx History service could help a physician or pharmacist save that person's life."
In the event of an emergency, Brooks Eckerd, CVS/pharmacy, Giant Food Pharmacy, Kerr Drug, Longs Drugs, Osco Drug, Rite Aid, Sav-On Pharmacy, Stop & Shop, Walgreens and Wal-Mart will provide access to Rx History through the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts (an organization founded by National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association). Additional pharmacies will be added in the near future and as needed depending on the geographical area impacted by the disaster. Through continued investment in the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts, the nation's pharmacies have dramatically improved the response time and range for the delivery of Rx History.
"After Hurricane Katrina, we faced an unprecedented need from pharmacy patients, both in the areas hit by the storm and in the many states that evacuees fled to," said David Bernauer, Chairman of Walgreen Co. "If a similar situation happens again, Rx History will no doubt save lives from the very beginning of the crisis."
"The demands of Hurricane Katrina brought out the best in community pharmacies," said Jonathan C. Roberts, chief information officer and senior vice president - information services of CVS/pharmacy. "In a disaster, the top priority is
ensuring that customers have their medications. CVS/pharmacy was dedicated to that effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in dispensing some 10,000 prescriptions in just the first few days after the disaster. With Rx History, we will be better positioned than ever before to respond in cases of emergency."
"We believe this is an excellent initiative as, in the event of an emergency, those impacted often have enough problems and issues to face without being subjected to delays when trying to obtain their personal prescriptions," said John Fegan, senior vice president of pharmacy operations for Stop & Shop, Giant Food LLC, Giant Food Stores and Tops Markets. "Providing the means to continue one's medications without interruption is a very positive thing."
"It is an annual event at Kerr Drug to prepare to assist Carolinians exposed to coastal events. Preparation in the past has included stocking up on staples such as water, batteries and flashlights," said Mark J. Gregory, RPh, vice president of pharmacy and government relations for Kerr Drug. We now have another great resource we can put in our emergency kit to allow patients un-interrupted access to their prescription records through Rx History."
"This initiative will help insure that licensed pharmacists can dispense needed medications to disaster victims under the worst circumstances, and in some cases may help save their lives," said Phil Keough, senior vice president of pharmacy operations for Rite Aid. "Access to medications, especially in high stress and emergency situations is crucial to patient healthcare."
How to Access Rx History in Case of Emergency
Rx History can be accessed by licensed prescribers in two ways:
1) EMR and E-Prescribing Software - For the nation's prescribers to be fully prepared and able to respond as quickly as possible during a crisis, the primary option for accessing the pharmacy prescription information service must be through the use of electronic prescribing or electronic medical record (EMR) software that is certified to receive Rx History through the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange, operated by SureScripts. The same certified software normally used by physicians during their routine care of patients would allow access to Emergency Rx
History for evacuees and other patients at-risk during and following a crisis. To find out if an e-prescribing or electronic medical record vendor has been certified for Rx History, go to /certified.
2) Portal - As a stop-gap measure for prescribers without access to certified software, the nation's pharmacies have teamed with Informed Decisions and the American Medical Association to facilitate access to Rx History in the event of a disaster through www.ICERx.org (In Case of Emergency Rx (History)). During periods of emergency, licensed healthcare professionals who have been properly identified and authenticated and who register on ICERx.org can access prescription histories from several sources by going to www.ICERx.org and entering the username and password obtained during the authentication and registration process. For information, visit www.ICERX.org.
About Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy
The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA, Inc., which operates under the name Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy, is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc, the fourth largest drugstore chain in North America and the second largest in both the eastern United States and Canada. The company and its combined network of 2,186 corporate and franchised drugstores (under the banners of Brooks and Eckerd Pharmacy, PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique and PJC Sante Beaute) employ more than 61,000 people. The Jean Coutu Group's United States operations employ 46,000 people and comprise 1,859 corporate owned stores located in 18 states of the North-eastern, mid-Atlantic and South-eastern United States.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS/Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's largest retail pharmacy with approximately 6,200 retail locations. CVS/pharmacy is committed to serving the healthcare needs of all customers by being the easiest pharmacy for customers to use, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS/Caremark is available at http://www.cvs.com/pressroom, as well as http://investor.cvs.com.
About Giant Food LLC
Giant Food LLC, headquartered in Landover, MD, operates 191 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, and employs more than 22,000 associates. Included within the 191 stores are 167 fullservice pharmacies. For more on Giant, visit www.giantfood.com.
About Giant Food Stores, LLC
Giant Food Stores, LLC, one of the leading supermarket operations in the U.S., currently operates stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia under the names of Giant Food Stores, TOPS Markets, Martin's Food Markets and Foodsource. As a company, Giant is proud to work with hundreds of local organizations in the communities it serves and has a long-standing commitment to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for children. For more information about Giant Food Stores, visit www.GiantFoodStores.com.
About Kerr Drug
Kerr Drug is one of the most recognized and respected names in the chain drug industry. With its roots in the Carolinas and headquarters in Raleigh, Kerr Drug is taking the vision of community pharmacy farther than any other drug chain. The company has placed its future on its unique ability to provide patients, the medical community, and health plan sponsors, access to the most comprehensive and convenient health and wellness offering in the industry. With a mission to be the most comprehensive provider of pharmacy and related health care services, while continuing to be the most reliable provider of health related and convenience items, Kerr is currently providing services that far exceed the traditional drug store mix.
About Longs Drug Stores Corporation
Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Longs Drug Stores Corporation (NYSE: LDG) is one of the most recognized retail drug store chains on the West Coast and in Hawaii. The Company operates retail pharmacies and offers a wide assortment of merchandise focusing on health, wellness, beauty and convenience. Longs also provides pharmacy benefit management services and Medicare beneficiary prescription drug plans through its wholly-owned subsidiary, RxAmerica, LLC. Additional information about Longs and its services is available at www.longs.com and more information about RxAmerica is available at www.rxamerica.com.
About Osco Drug and Sav-On Pharmacy
Osco Drug and Sav-On Pharmacy are operated by SUPERVALU INC. SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel with annual sales approaching $40 billion. SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the U.S. with its approximately 2,500 retail grocery locations. Through SUPERVALU's nationwide supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery endpoints across the country. SUPERVALU currently has approximately 200,000 associates. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com or www.supervalupharmacies.com.
About Rite Aid
Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation's leading drugstore chains with annual revenues of $17.5 billion and approximately 3,300 stores in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company's website at http://www.riteaid.com/.
About Stop and Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC, based in Quincy, Massachusetts, employs more than 58,000 associates and operates 385 stores throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey. For more on Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com.
Walgreen Co. is the nation's largest drug store chain with fiscal 2006 sales of $47.4 billion. The company operates 5,675 stores in 48 states and Puerto Rico, including 77 Happy Harry's stores in Delaware and surrounding states. Walgreens also provides additional services to pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Services, its managed care division, which includes Walgreens Health Initiatives, Inc. (a pharmacy benefits manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters,
Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents the nation's leading retail chain pharmacies and suppliers, helping them better meet the changing needs of their patients and customers. Chain pharmacies operate more than 38,000 pharmacies, employ 112,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.3 billion
prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of nearly $700 billion. Other members include more than 1,000 suppliers of products and services to the chain drug store industry. NACDS' international membership has grown to include 80 members from 25 countries. For more information about NACDS, visit www.nacds.org.
The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 24,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription
Founded by the pharmacy industry in 2001, SureScripts ® operates the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange ™, which facilitates the secure electronic transmission of prescription information between physicians and pharmacists and provides access to lifesaving information about patients during emergencies or routine care. Today, more than 95 percent of all pharmacies and all major physician technology vendors in the United States are certified on the Pharmacy Health Information Exchange. More information about SureScripts is available at www.surescripts.com.