Increasing Demand for Quality Healthcare to Cause Sweeping Shift towards E-prescription

Instead of handing paper slips to patients, all doctors will directly send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies in the forthcoming years. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), about 50% of pediatricians in the U.S. have already replaced prescription pads with electronic prescription (E-prescription) systems. This trend will grow further with the help of various government incentives encouraging the implementation of E-Prescribing programs in order to enhance the quality of healthcare and reduce medication errors.

Transparency Market Research (TMR) analysts estimate that the improving scope of various applications of e-prescription in data security checks, preparation of complete medication list, patient historical data, and complete information of formulary will drive the growth of the global e-prescription market. According to a report by TMR, the valuation of global e-prescribing market was US$250.2 mn in 2013 and is anticipated to reach US$887.8 mn by the end of 2019, growing at a CAGR of 23.5% between 2013 and 2019.

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Which factors are likely to shift the focus of medical practitioners towards e-prescription?

Various studies claim that the use of e-prescription can significantly reduce drug abuse by the means of drug utilization systems. It will also reduce errors when prescriptions are filled, thereby enhancing the efficiency of medical practitioners. E-prescription provides improved quality and rate of delivering medical attention. E-prescription can also help by providing dispensers and other providers with data on total drug coverage, co-pay data, and formulary alternatives.

Moreover, various government incentives and improvements in healthcare infrastructure back the adoption of e-prescription systems. The governments and various non-profit organizations, with the help of manufacturers are aiming at a large-scale deployment of e-prescription systems. To put this into perspective, Canada Health Infoway, a non-profit organization funded by the Canadian government, has announced proposals for an electronic prescription service called PrescribeIT in July 2016. The initiative aims to establish a system operating in at least two provinces of Canada by late 2017.

Why are developing nations yet to become an attractive market for e-prescription system vendors?

The economic conditions and slow infrastructural development in emerging nations are challenging the growth of the global e-prescription market. The non-availability of integrated connectivity and networks is posing a major threat to the development of regional markets from Asia Pacific, Latin America, and some parts of Africa. In addition, the lack of skilled labor for management and operation of e-prescription systems and the absence of high-speed broadband services are likely to impede the growth of the e-prescription market in these regions. Other restraints influencing the global e-prescription market are the absence of regulatory measures that protect patient privacy and the high cost of operation.

How are activities in developed regions largely benefitting the growth of the global e-prescription market?

Europe and North America have proved to be conducive for the growth of the global e-prescription market. eHealth projects including Schleswig-Holstein Health Initiative and European Patient Smart Open Services made the large-scale implementation of e-prescription programs possible in Europe. The presence of superior healthcare infrastructure is driving the market in both Europe and North America.

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