e-Prescribing is the prescriber's ability to electronically send an accurate, error-free, and understandable prescription directly to a pharmacy from the point of care.
Covid-19 Triggers Increase in e-Prescribing market
Throughout 2020 and 2021, the Covid-19 virus spread rapidly and relentlessly across the globe and adversely impacted a multitude of industries worldwide. With lockdowns implemented, social distancing mandated, and widespread apprehension – Covid-19 adversely impacted health services internationally and health care providers were compelled to change their methods of service delivery. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, e-Prescribing emerged as an important tool in creating a safe environment to avoid the spread of Covid-19, minimizing in-person consultations and paper prescription handling.
According to Surescripts (US-based information technology company that supports e-prescriptions), Covid-19 sparked a 72.5% increase in the number of electronic prescriptions written through telehealth during the first month of Covid-19.
Favorable Regulatory Changes Across Countries Provides Impetus to the e-Prescribing Market
Healthcare delivery including pharmacy services is highly regulated worldwide, in order to protect public health and welfare. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered the need to amend the e-prescription legislation so that people are able to access a range of healthcare services in a timely and effective manner.
- In order to curb the rise in drug-related deaths in the US, the federal government and several states including California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Utah, and Washington have mandated the e-prescribing of controlled medications in the US. The mandate requires clinical prescribers to write controlled medications electronically.
The original deadline for states to comply with federal EPCS mandates was January 1st, 2021. However, due to complications of COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the enforcement of EPCS-certified E-Prescribing software for Medicare Part D until January 1, 2023. CMS is still urging adoption so that practices can avoid penalties for non-compliance.
- In Ireland, The Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 allowed the electronic transfer of prescriptions to a pharmacy via an approved electronic system: the HSE's Healthmail system. The legislation removed the requirement for a physical or hard copy of a prescription to be presented in pharmacies in order to collect prescriptions that are sent via the HSE’s secure Healthmail service. Additionally, the maximum period of validity of a prescription was increased from 6 months to 9 months as of the date specified on the prescription.
- Similarly, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated work related to e-prescription and e-prescriptions are now available across Australia. The Australian Government changed its legislation to make electronic prescribing of pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) medicines legal. States and territories also made changes to their legal frameworks to allow for electronic prescriptions in their jurisdiction.
e-Prescription Benefits Fuels It’s Demand
Increasing usage of technology across every aspect of healthcare has enabled the demand for e-prescription globally.
Some of the key benefits of e-prescribing that are driving its demand are:
- Reduced Pharmacist Error: As compared to hand-written prescriptions, e-prescriptions are explicit and clear in terms of prescribing treatment and dosage. This leads to reduced prescription and medication errors as it requires less interpretation from pharmacists
- Instant Clinical Notifications: e-Prescribing systems provide notifications to prescribers about allergies, potential drug interactions, duplicate therapies, pregnancy and other issues that would be contraindicated for a patient when taking a particular medication
- Prescription Fulfillment Tracking: e-prescription systems help doctors/clinicians track whether or not patients are adhering to prescribed medication/treatment
- Reconcile Medication History Instantly: Using e-prescription systems, prescribers can view patient’s medication history instantly which in turn saves medication lists reconciling time
- Improved Prescription Efficiency: Using advanced e-prescription systems, clinicians can automatically refill several prescriptions at the same time, which allows them more time to review. This is likely to increase both efficiency and reduce the prescription error rate
- Reduced Lost Prescriptions: Hand-written paper prescriptions are small and easy to misplace which increases burden on medical offices as they need to rewrite or call the prescriptions into the pharmacy. e-Prescription can be sent directly to the pharmacy, so patients do not have to keep track of hand-written paper prescriptions.
“Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandate in the United States allows clinical prescribers to write prescriptions electronically for controlled substances. More than half of the US falls under EPCS mandates. It is a vital tool to reduce unwarranted deaths caused due to drug overdose. Growing EPCS mandate in US states is likely to drive the e-prescribing market.” - Senior Director, Leading Electronic Prescribing Service Provider, United States
Organic and Inorganic Growth Strategies Adopted by Players to Establish Their Foothold in e-Prescribing Market
The e-Prescribing market is marked by the presence of both established and new players. Players operating in the market adopt both organic and inorganic growth strategies such as new product launches, and acquisitions to garner market share. For instance,
- In March 2022, FDB (First Databank, Inc.), the leading provider of drug and medical device databases, launched FDB Vela, a new, cloud-native electronic prescribing (ePrescribing) network that enables the seamless flow of critical medication prescription information, benefits verification, and clinical decision support between prescribers, payers, pharmacies, and other constituents
- In May 2020, Therapy Brands, a leading software provider for the mental and behavioral health industry, acquired NewCrop, an integrated e-prescribing service provider. The acquisition of NewCrop gives Therapy Brands access to e-prescribe functionality, which is expected to become increasingly prevalent in the mental and behavioral health industry.
The e-Prescribing market is a booming market that is expected to gain further momentum in the coming years due to the benefits of e-prescribing, Covid-19 after-effects, favorable regulatory changes across countries, accelerated use of telemedicine, and growing focus on reducing the abuse of controlled substances.
Competitive Landscape Analysis: e-Prescribing Market
The global e-Prescribing market is marked by the presence of players such as Allscripts, NextGen Healthcare, AdvancedMD, MDToolbox, Practice Fusion, DrFirst, RXNT, Chetu, PrognoCIS, NewCrop, among others.
Key Strategic Questions Addressed
- What is the market size & forecast of the e-Prescribing Market?
- What are historical, present, and forecasted market shares and growth rates of various segments and sub-segments of the e-Prescribing Market?
- What are the key trends defining the market?
- What are the major factors impacting the market?
- What are the opportunities prevailing in the e-Prescribing market?
- Which region has the highest share in the global market? Which region is expected to witness the highest growth rate in the next 5 years?
- Who are the major players operating in the market?
- What are the key strategies adopted by players?
The study has been compiled based on the extensive primary and secondary research.
Secondary Research (Indicative List)
To validate research findings (market size & forecasts, market segmentation, market dynamics, competitive landscape, key industry trends, etc.), extensive primary interviews were conducted with both supply and demand side stakeholders.
Supply Side Stakeholders:
- Senior Management Level: CEOs, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Directors, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Commercial Officers
- Mid-Management Level: Product Managers, Sales Managers, Brand Managers, R&D Managers, Business Development Managers, Consultants
Demand Side Stakeholders:
- Stakeholders in Hospitals, Office Based Physicians, and Pharmacies.
Breakdown of Primary Interviews
Market Size Estimation
Both ‘Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches’ were used to derive market size estimates and forecasts.
Research findings derived through secondary sources & internal analysis was validated with Primary Interviews, Internal Knowledge Repository and Company’s Sales Data.