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More than 550,000 prescribers now use Real-Time Prescription Benefit, saving patients millions of dollars

ARLINGTON, Va. – November 3, 2021 – Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit is helping more prescribers gain access to patient-specific prescription drug cost and coverage information, so they can help patients get started on more affordable medication therapy. With more than 550,000 prescribers using the service, Surescripts processed more than 300 million real-time prescription benefit checks at the point of care in the first nine months of 2021, an increase of 78% over the same period in 2020. As a result, prescribers selected medication alternatives that saved patients an estimated $21 million.

"Now more than ever, factoring in both the clinical and financial implications of a medication is essential to medication adherence," said Mike Pritts, Chief Product Officer of Surescripts. "With Real-Time Prescription Benefit, combined with Electronic Prior Authorization, we’re empowering care providers to seamlessly collaborate with patients on choosing a medication that is both clinically appropriate and affordable while expediting time to therapy.”

Surescripts also expanded the reach of Real-Time Prescription Benefit for prescribers to include pharmacy benefit managers and health plans covering more than 97% of U.S. patients in October 2021, up from 82% in December 2020. Through these connections, Surescripts gives prescribers and pharmacists access to information on out-of-pocket prescription costs and therapeutic alternatives at the point of dispensing. With pricing, coverage, and prior authorization information shared directly from the patient’s benefit plan, prescribers gain insights into different days' supply and options on formulary that may be less expensive or don’t require time consuming prior authorizations.

Recent enhancements to Real-Time Prescription Benefit have improved the response rate for prescribers, delivering price information even when treating uninsured patients and patients whose price information isn’t already available from their benefit plan. By improving the response rate, more prescribers will use the service, so they can talk with their patient about the best available option at their preferred pharmacy.

“We know that prescribers want tools to help enable greater visibility into prescription price information,” explained Andrew Mellin, M.D., Vice President, Chief Medical Information Officer of Surescripts. “Real-Time Prescription Benefit and Electronic Prior Authorization address so many pain points with improved workflow, easy access to patient information, and more efficient prescribing—all while protecting patient and provider choice.”

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of prescribers say the cost of prescriptions is one of the top three issues facing healthcare today, and 19% of patients report their ability to afford medication has become harder in the past 18 months.

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