WEB Rx: Allscripts, PlanetRx.com Announce Contract
Underscoring the surge in Internet pharmacy popularity, Allscripts Inc. and San Francisco-based PlanetRx Inc. announced Thursday their intent to sign a three-year contract linking pharmacies with doctors, the Chicago Tribune reports. Under the contract, every time one of PlanetRx's 300,000-plus customers request that a physician order an online prescription, Allscripts would earn a fee. "This is the first direct link from a physician's [hand-held computer] to an Internet pharmacy. They are paying us a commitment fee as well as a fee for each transaction," Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman said. Although the details of the deal were not disclosed, Allscripts said the agreement could generate "millions of dollars" each year. Currently, Allscripts' "e-prescribing" process enables more than 2,000 doctors to send prescriptions to traditional pharmacists via palm-held electronic pad computers. As a result, doctors spend more time with their patients and less time filling out insurance paperwork. Analysts predict that within five years, consumers will spend $15 billion annually at online pharmacies (Japsen, 1/21).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.