Decision Resources finds that, on average, surveyed U.S. endocrinologists and primary care physicians (PCPs) use e-prescribing for 76 percent of their Medicare patients and 79 percent of their non-Medicare patients, figures that they expect to grow in the next year. The rates are higher for their use of electronic medical records. Within their e-prescribing program, roughly 60 percent of physicians say they have access to their patients’ formularies. These physicians report they have easy access to formularies for most of their patients and that this knowledge results in them paying more attention to patient costs.
The new U.S. Physician & Payer Forum report entitled E-Prescribing and Electronic Health Records: Impact of Technology on Prescribing for Hypertension and Diabetes finds that approximately 80 percent of PCPs and endocrinologists say they would prescribe a less expensive DPP-IV inhibitor to their patients with type 2 diabetes or hypertension, reflecting high cost-sensitivity. Among the DPP-IV inhibitors, physicians overwhelmingly prescribe Merck’s Januvia more often because of its more favorable reimbursement while reducing their use of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Tradjenta and, to a lesser extent, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Onglyza. This finding reflects the high rate of preferred coverage for Januvia in comparison with Tradjenta and Onglyza.
The report also finds that, similar to responses from physicians, managed care organizations’ (MCOs) pharmacy directors say that Januvia prescribing has increased because of the e-prescribing program while branded rivals Onglyza and Tradjenta have faced reduced prescribing. Also, 84 percent of MCO pharmacy directors have seen physicians prescribing drugs with lower patient costs and fewer restrictions because of the information provided in e-prescribing solutions.
According to the findings, e-prescribing and electronic health records represent a challenge to marketers of branded drugs. Providing physicians access to formulary information, including copay amounts, is leading these physicians to prescribe the best-reimbursed drug. As a result, formulary placement takes on greater importance.
“The vast majority of physicians say their electronic health records (EHR) systems only have patient information from their own physician group, meaning they have incomplete information on their patients–this lack of shared information represents a shortcoming of current EHR adoption and prevents improved patient management,” said Decision Resources Product Manager Roy Moore. “The ability of EHRs to aggregate data and allow for population health management–an underutilized feature today–will allow marketers of branded therapies to demonstrate the superiority of their products versus other competitors and generics. Physician and MCO desires to reduce costs and hospitalizations should make them receptive to clinical data showing therapies’ effectiveness along these metrics.”