Groups launch campaign to promote e-prescribing

A coalition of medical and consumer groups, labor unions, large employers and health insurance companies is planning to roll out a high-impact advertising and lobbying campaign promoting the use of e-prescribing. The group, which was brought together by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, is backing pending legislation which would require doctors treating Medicare patients to handle prescriptions electronically. The PCMA, for its part, represents pharmacy benefit managers like CVS Caremark and Express Scripts.

Right now Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) are considering e-prescribing measures which would become part of a larger Medicare legislative package backers hope to pass by the end of this year. Because the Medicare package also contains language putting a stop to the pending 10 percent cut in physician Medicare payments, they're gambling that physician groups won't dare oppose the broader legislative initiative. However, the AMA has already written to Kerry and Schwartz, stating that while the association backs e-prescribing, it's against making e-prescribing a requirement.

To find out more about the initiative:
- read this article from The Hill

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