Pocketscript Inc. Expanding on the E-Prescriptions Scene
The Cincinnati Enquirer recently reported on the future of Pocketscript Inc., an e-prescriptions company. Analysts expect the e-prescriptions industry to swell in the near future. For example, while only 3% of U.S. physicians currently use e-prescriptions, analysts predict that 20% of doctors will use wireless prescriptions systems by 2004. Pocketscript President Richard Hendrix attributes the expansion of the e-prescription industry to a variety of factors, including convenience for doctors, insurance companies' desire to control costs and eliminate errors and a pharmacist shortage. Pocketscript's wireless prescription system has a subscriber base of 1,400 physicians and generates 18 prescriptions per day per doctor. Physicians using the Pocketscript system enter a patient's name and the drug being prescribed into a hand-held computer. The information is sent to a server, which checks the prescription against relevant information, such as the patient's drug history, drug interactions and insurance requirements. The system indicates potential drug interaction problems. The system also codes drugs not covered by the patient's insurance company in red, those covered in green and medications with varying co-pays in purple. After approving the prescription, the doctor chooses a pharmacy and the Pocketscript system faxes the information to the pharmacist. Although many doctors are reluctant to pay for the system -- which costs $2,000 per physician -- Pocketscript hopes to negotiate additional discounts with pharmaceutical companies and prescription benefit managers. Many physicians that already use the system report they are "satisfied" with it (Byczkowski, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.