E-prescribing in growth mode

Market pegged at $794M by 2017
By Bernie Monegain
10:54 AM
electronic prescribing systems

The electronic prescribing systems market is estimated to grow to $794 million, at a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to a new study by MarketsandMarkets, which analyzed the major market drivers, restraints and opportunities around the world.

In the U.S., the HITECH Act designates e-prescribing as an essential requirement for meaningful use under the electronic health record incentive programs, thus driving the adoption of electronic prescribing systems, the report found. According to findings, costs can be reduced with the use of eRx systems as these help to improve quality and efficiency and show promise in reducing costs by actively promoting appropriate drug usage; providing information to providers and dispensers about formulary-based drug coverage, including formulary alternatives and co-pay information; and speeding up the process of renewing medications.

Most healthcare systems of developing countries lack an integrated and well-connected network, which affects the ability to effectively use important features that integrated eRX systems offer thus restraining the growth of this market.

[See also: e-Prescribing nears halfway mark.]

The expenditure on e-health is slated to increase as a percentage of national health budgets in this decade. As the governments look to encourage physicians and pharmacies to adopt the technology, the e-prescribing market is likely grow to $794 million by 2017 globally. Spread of awareness and realization of the growing need to switch to e-health will boost this technology. Regional inter connectivity to ensure prompt transfer of patient information even as the patient travels to another country has become the need of the hour, the report noted. Hence, besides the obvious advantages of reducing medication errors and saving time and money, e-prescription is building path for a global healthcare structure.

The market is driven by a few established companies and many small companies that are striving to gain maximum market share. The predominant strategy followed by all players of this market is launching of new products by means of modifying the product as per changes in technology and need of the end users which results in development of either new innovative product or modification of the existing product. Since the healthcare industry has long been apprehensive about adopting IT and technology, analysts say, vendors aim to increase awareness and offer easy-to-use solutions to the healthcare providers.

[See also: National report shows surge in e-prescribing among health practitioners.]

Major players such as Surescripts, Cerner, Allscripts, athenahealth, iMedX, DrFirst, Emdeon, eClinicalWorks, Practice Fusion and Bizmatics are mainly focusing on the development of electronic prescription solution as standalone or as integrated module of electronic health records and practice management technology, according to the report.