E-prescribing takes off like a rocket

Findings mirror performance recently reported by Surescripts network.
By Bernie Monegain
10:07 AM
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RX script on a tablet

The global market for e-prescribing will reach $887.8 million in 2019, according to a recent report published by Persistence Market Research

The market, valued at $250.2 million in 2013, is expected to grow at a 23.5 percent annual compound rate from 2013 to 2019, reaching an estimated value of 887.8 million, according to “Global Market Study on E-Prescribing: North America to Witness Highest Growth by 2019."

The report reflects similar findings on the increasing uptake of e-prescribing recently indicated by Suresripts, which noted in its most recent progress report last month tthat its network handled more transactions in 2014 than American Express (6 billion) and PayPal (4.2 billion).

[See also: Surescripts attains digital breakthrough.]

In 2014, 56 percent of physicians and 95 percent of pharmacies processed 1.2 billion electronic prescriptions on the Surescripts network, the country's largest e-prescribing network, officials reported. That number includes 67 percent of all new prescriptions.

Last July, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT reported that in the U.S. more than 70 percent of physicians e-prescribe, showing  an upward trajectory from 7 percent of docs e-prescribing in 2008, growing to 24 percent in 2011, estimating that 70 percent of physicians were prescribing electronically.

[See also: E-prescribing makes huge gains.]

E-prescribing systems are used in various applications including preparation of complete medication list, data security checks, complete information of formulary and patient historical data, the Persistence Market report points out. These advanced features of e-prescribing are also fueling the growth of the e-prescribing market, the report adds.

Also, improved healthcare infrastructure has increased the demand for e-prescribing systems, and the Persistence Market researchers point out implementation of electronic healthcare records with e-prescribing systems "holds immense potential for the growth of e-prescribing market.

"However, the high cost of an e-prescribing system and lack of patient privacy and security impede growth of the market. Lack of high-speed broadband facilities and IT professionals in rural areas are also some of the key restraints," researchers note.

Europe holds the largest share in the e-prescribing market, according to the report. Many e-health projects in Europe are playing a vital role in the adoption of the e-prescribing systems, such as European Patient Smart Open Services and Schleswig-Holstein Health Initiative.

North America is the fastest growing region for eRX, according to Persistence. Increased adoption of the e-prescribing system and improved healthcare infrastructure are major drivers for the e-prescribing market. Several government initiatives,such as the HITECH Act and National Council for Prescription Drugs Program, are also promoting the usage of e-prescribing systems.

In Asia, usage of the e-prescribing systems is increasing due to medical infrastructure development and government initiative programs. Growing medical infrastructure has led to improvement in primary healthcare services, village clinics and urban healthcare centers through the adoption of healthcare IT technologies.

Henry Schein, Inc. and Cerner are the leading players in the global e-prescribing market, according to the report. Other major players include athenahealth, DrFirst, eClinicalWorks, HealthFusion, Inc., and Practice Fusion.