E-prescription market headed to $204.6M

By Healthcare IT News
09:58 AM
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The U.S. e-prescription market is set to reach $204.6 million, according to a new report by market research firm Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

The research report titled "E-Prescription Systems: A US & European Market Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the e-prescription systems markets, current market trends, key growth drivers, recent product launches, recent industry activity, and profiles of major/niche market participants.

It provides annual sales estimates and projections for e-prescription systems market for the years 2009 through 2017 for the following geographic markets - US and Europe. Key segments analyzed include integrated e-prescription systems, and stand-alone e-prescription systems. The report also analyzes the adoption of e-prescription systems by hospital practice and general practice. Also, a six-year (2003-2008) historic analysis is provided for additional perspective.

Major players profiled in the report include Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc., Cerner Corp., InstantDx/OnCallData, AlphaSante Group, eHealth Solutions, iScribe, iMedX, Navimedix, Newcrop LLC, Emdeon, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc., athenahealth Inc., eClinicalWorks, ABEL Medical Software Inc., Altos Solutions, ASP.MD Inc., Bizmatics Inc., digiChart Inc., e-MDs, Eclipsys Corp., eScribe EMR Solutions Inc., Henry Schein Medical Systems, Surescripts LLC, Med3000, among others.

Technology is being widely used in improving efficiencies, and creating opportunities in a wide gamut of industries, and healthcare sector is no exception. In the past few years, advancements in web technologies have assisted vendors in developing products to offer tools to significantly improve the safety and efficiency of the healthcare sector as well as to provide substantial cost savings, the report notes.

This is further propelled by the increase in healthcare costs, which is putting enormous pressure on healthcare providers to incorporate technically advanced solutions as part of their cost-containment strategy, it adds. Electronic prescriptions is one such technology that is beginning to gain the attention of policy makers across the globe as an effective medium for curbing prescription drug costs.

The paperless, electronic mode of transmission of prescriptions as well as prescription-related information between the physician and the dispenser has given a new dimension to the way prescriptions are dispensed.

With more than 4.5 billion prescriptions being written by physicians and clinicians annually and the volume increasing at a rapid pace, plus the increasing number of adverse drug events caused due to errors in hand-written prescriptions, the electronic mode of prescribing is gaining increased foothold, according to GIA. The medium is expected to gain increased preference over the ensuing years, backed by its ability to provide improved patient care, and reduce medication errors. The market is also witnessing the growing demand for integrated e-prescription systems, facilitating the healthcare community to shift towards the implementation of a complete electronic health record system.

GIA reports that while older versions of e-prescribing technology in existence since the mid-1990s, the e-prescription systems market had earlier been significantly underutilized. This was basically due to the complexities involved in the successful implementation of the systems, as well as the physicians' reluctance in the adoption of technology. However, significant progress has been made during the past few years for a more widespread use of these systems in the healthcare sector. Physicians are gradually realizing that using e-prescription systems is beneficial for improved patient safety. This was further augmented by the large-scale technological advancements, resulting in the introduction of various improved systems, which can either be used in a stand-alone mode, or in an integrated mode for integrating e-prescriptions with the patients' electronic medical records.

Governments across the world are providing incentives for implementing e-prescriptions, and at the same time penalizing non-compliance. One such attempt is the US implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009, which received federal funding worth US$19 billion for the modernization of HIT infrastructure in the US. ARRA is expected to assist federal government in saving an estimated US$22 billion in medical and drug costs over the next decade. In addition, the adoption of e-prescribing under the ARRA is expected to increase to about 70 to 75% of the total prescribers over the next five to six years. And considering the positive initiatives taken up by the industry, supported by encouraging government regulations, the e-prescription industry is poised to witness robust growth in future.

The United States and Europe constitute the two major markets for e-prescription systems globally. Of the two, Europe represents the largest market for e-prescription systems, as stated by the new market research report on E-Prescription Systems. Segment-wise, integrated e-prescription systems represent the larger segment, compared to the stand-alone e-prescription systems. The systems are also expected to witness faster growth compared to stand-alone systems. In terms of practice, Hospital practice accounts for a larger share, compared to general practice. The use of e-prescription systems in general practice is however registering increasing growth compared to hospital practice. The market for e-prescription systems in general practice is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 11.5 percent during the analysis period.