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Ms Michelle Cathers
/ Categories: APhA News

Analysis finds e-prescribing by pharmacists on the rise, filling gaps in care

A new report from Surescripts finds that more pharmacists are electronically prescribing medications as they assist with managing chronic diseases for patients.

According to the report’s data, the number of prescribers in the Surescripts’ network who were not conventional primary care providers rose by 12.1% on average annually between 2018 to 2022, while the number of clinicians who frequently provide primary care grew by less than 1%.

Surescripts found that the number of overall e-prescriptions submitted by pharmacists increased by 47% between 2019 and 2022, in particular for drugs that treat chronic conditions. Electronic prescriptions for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol rose by 3.6% during that time frame, while the number of e-prescriptions in those categories submitted by conventional primary care providers fell by 3.5% on average each year.

“As gaps in primary care grow wider, pharmacists have become essential care providers—especially for patients with chronic conditions,” said Frank Harvey, Surescripts CEO, in a press statement. “Health care has an opportunity to catch up by bringing policy and payment structures in line with how patients are accessing primary care and truly empowering pharmacists to deliver care at the top of their education and training and as part of a collaborative care team.”

Additionally, Surescripts noted that a recent survey found 89% of prescribers and 97% of pharmacists support the increased use of team-based care. That survey found that 41% of prescribers believe it is essential for pharmacists to be able to issue prescriptions.

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