Pharmacists Can Now Efficiently Partner with Patients and Prescribers to Address Affordability Issues That Contribute to Prescription Abandonment
Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy service is now available, enabling pharmacists to access information on out-of-pocket prescription costs and therapeutic alternatives at the point of dispensing. This new tool empowers pharmacists to seamlessly collaborate with patients and prescribers on choosing an alternative medication that is both clinically appropriate and affordable. With pricing, coverage and prior authorization information shared directly from the patient’s benefit plan, pharmacies now have insight into different days' supply and options on formulary that may be less expensive.
“The rising cost of many medications means that pharmacists are increasingly challenged by their patients to find cost-effective medication options on their behalf,” said Tom Skelton, Chief Executive Officer of Surescripts. “Previously, this required price checks across various medications and dose-form combinations and multiple callbacks to prescribers, just to get a list of viable options. Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy removes this burden and lets pharmacists get off the phone and back to patient care.”
BestRx, divvyDOSE, and Micro Merchant Systems/PrimeRx™ are live with the service, and the following pharmacy organizations are slated to offer it to their pharmacy staff or customers: Integra®, KeyCentrix Inc., NovoRx, and QS/1®.
“With patients demanding ever greater transparency in their healthcare spending, Real-Time Prescription Benefit helps pharmacists operate at the top of their license as expert members of their care team,” said Hemal Desai, President of BestRx Pharmacy Software. “BestRx implemented the service in February and has already gone live with over 1,000 stores nationwide. Within 10 minutes of going live with the service, one of our pharmacies in Illinois used it to switch a patient from a 30-day to 90-day fill, resulting in more than $800 of annual copay savings.”
Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy becomes especially powerful when combined with RxChange, which lets pharmacists send electronic prescription change requests to the original prescriber, if they identify a therapeutically interchangeable drug or need to request a prior authorization—situations that would normally require multiple phone calls or faxes. They may also use these tools to recommend alternative medications that do not require prior authorization, decreasing the time to therapy and avoiding the administrative rework that too often impacts care quality, patient satisfaction and medication adherence.
“We are thrilled to offer pharmacists the technology they need to streamline e-prescribing workflows and improve medication change-related communications with prescribers,” said Ketan Mehta, Chief Executive Officer of Micro Merchant Systems/PrimeRx™. “Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy puts pharmacists and their prescriber partners on a much clearer path to their shared goal of achieving the best possible outcomes for their patients.”
Half of patients report that they have not taken a medication because it was too expensive, and 3 in 10 have not taken a prescription because it took too long to fill, according to Surescripts' Prescription Price Transparency and the Patient Experience survey.
“As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists are primary points of care in dispensing needed medications, providing testing and counseling patients,” said National Community Pharmacists Association president Brian Caswell, owner of Wolkar Drug in Baxter Springs, Kan. “With access to real-time, benefits-based prescription price information at the point of dispensing, pharmacists can help patients optimize the safe and effective use of their medication treatment at an affordable cost.”
Prescription price transparency tools have already taken off among prescribers. In 2019, more than 250,000 prescribers used Real-Time Prescription Benefit to save patients money on their prescriptions and promote medication adherence. And the number of real-time benefit checks at the point of care increased by 336% in 2019, according to the Surescripts 2019 National Progress Report.
Learn more about Real-Time Prescription Benefit for Pharmacy and download Surescripts' 2019 Impact Report: Prescription Price Transparency and the Surescripts 2019 National Progress Report