Reading between the RFID lines

October 8, 2007

Updates on e-prescriptions, smart pillboxes, electronic health records, and other technologies for pharmacists.

With or without RFID, e-pedigree initiatives still appear to be moving forward. Blu Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer recently adopted SupplyScape's E-Pedigree data management solution, and IBM has introduced its own data management tool. Pfizer reported to the California Board of Pharmacy in June that it had 75 employees and additional outside consultants devoted to its serialization effort, which it termed "complex and costly." How much of a role RFID will play remains to be seen.

Speaking of e-prescribing

In other related news, Alaska has finally cleared the way to accept e-prescriptions, following on the heels of Georgia, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. Now pharmacies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia can accept e-prescriptions. "This is a significant milestone as momentum continues to grow nationwide for electronic prescribing," said Bruce Roberts, R.Ph., National Community Pharmacists Association CEO.

A bigger tool belt

Pharmacists delivering medication therapy management through the Community Care Rx program will have a few more tools in their belt. Mirixa recently announced the release of a new version of its MirixaPro product suite with new clinical care management tools for pharmacy-based delivery of patient care services. Now qualifying patient cases are delivered directly and securely to the pharmacist. MirixaPro's workflow system can now support delivery of multiple interventions through its Web portal. For more information, visit http://www.mirixa.com/.

Increasing access to smart solutions

Sometimes it's not enough to build a better mousetrap; after all you have to market it too. Recently, a number of companies have taken new steps to increase the market awareness of pharmacy technologies. InforMedix, for example, recently began to offer its Med-eMonitor smart pillbox on-line to consumers at its Web site. The unit monitors medication use and reports missed medication dosages or declining health to caregivers in an effort to improve adherence. Similarly, Automated Medical Systems announced that it had licensed a computerized unit-dose medication dispensing cart from inventor Todd Barrett. The cart is designed to help nurses dispense prepackaged unit-dose medications and to store medical information about patients. The cart also can detect and record when medications are taken.