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eRx Collaborative Continues to Lead the Industry with More Than 15.6 Million Electronic Prescriptions Transmitted to Date

50,000 prescriptions changed this year as a result of drug alerts

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 25, 2008--The eRx Collaborative today announced that during the first six months of 2008, more than 2.1 million electronic prescriptions were transmitted through the Collaborative. This brings the 4 1/2 year total of electronic prescriptions transmitted through Collaborative prescribers to 15.6 million. In addition, the eRx Collaborative deployed 141 new prescribers during the first half of the year, on track to meet this year's annual goal of 200 new prescribers.

The opportunity to catch potentially harmful drug-drug interactions or drug-allergy interactions is a hallmark safety feature of electronic prescribing. As of June 30, 2008, approximately 50,000 electronic prescriptions were changed due to drug safety alerts, 2.3 percent of the electronic prescriptions written.

In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this year earned the number one ranking at the third annual Safe-Rx Awards. The Safe-Rx Award is given annually by the nation's community pharmacies to the top 10 e-prescribing states in the nation and to three physicians in each winning state who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their use of e-prescribing technology.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), Tufts Health Plan and Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) are members of the eRx Collaborative. The plans formed the Collaborative in 2003 to jumpstart the use of comprehensive e-prescribing technology in Massachusetts. The program offers physicians and other prescribing clinicians the ability to improve patient safety and increase healthcare affordability. The eRx Collaborative uses applications developed by Zix Corporation (PocketScript(R)) (NASD: ZIXI) and DrFirst (Rcopia(TM)). The program has assisted more than 5,600 prescribers to adopt ePrescribing since the start of the program

e-Prescribers are able to access enhanced information when prescribing for patients in participating plans, such as patient eligibility and formulary information. In addition, the program enables prescribers to:

  • Access patient-specific drug histories to determine the patient's current and past prescriptions
  • Create new and renew prescriptions electronically
  • Send prescriptions for non-controlled substances directly to the pharmacy via fax or by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and/or print the prescription to paper
  • Receive renewal requests from the pharmacy electronically
  • Check for drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions
  • Access a drug reference guide

The eRx Collaborative continues to sponsor new prescribers, and evaluate the best way to expand awareness and adoption of e-prescribing in Massachusetts for this year and beyond. The Collaborative views e-prescribing as a first step to an electronic practice. A fully electronic practice is one of the pathways to reach the ultimate goal for health care: to improve patient safety, quality and delivery.

About the eRx Collaborative

The eRx Collaborative was formed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), Tufts Health Plan and Neighborhood Health Plan (NHP) with technology partners DrFirst, Inc and Zix Corporation (ZixCorp(R)), (Nasdaq: ZIXI), to collaboratively promote and enable the use of electronic prescribing in Massachusetts to improve patient safety, health care affordability, quality and delivery. For more information, visit our website

CONTACT: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Susan Leahy, 617-246-4823
Tufts Health Plan
Patti Embry-Tautenhan, 617-972-1090
Farrah Corley, 214-370-2175
Irene Froehlich, 240-671-3320
Neighborhood Health Plan
Sonia Javier-Obinger, 617-772-5660

SOURCE: The eRx Collaborative