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ePocrates To Collaborate With Express Scripts on HANDHELD FORMULARY INITIATIVE ePocrates has agreed to incorporate the formu lary information of Express Scripts Inc., a national pharmacy benefits manager, into the ePocrates Rx Formulary drug reference guide, a handheld soft ware application combining clinical and formulary data. This new relationship with Express Scripts enables physicians to receive handheld information that aims to help control drug spending, while helping avert medication errors at the point of care. “Providing physicians with handheld formulary and clinical data can elimi nate hours spent on the phone with the pharmacist and also enhance patient safety by enabling physicians to easily check dosage and safety information at the time of prescribing,” says Richard Fiedotin, M.D., ePocrates’ VP of business development. “It also bene fits consumers, since lower copays can lead to signifi cant cost savings, especially for patients with chron ic medical conditions.” “Like most physicians, I often don’t have time to check a formulary book or desktop computer for mulary when I am seeing patients,” says Bruce Deschere, M.D., a physician who participated in a prior pilot program.“Now can save money for my patients since I am checking formulary status while I am using my ePocrates drug reference guide for clinical purposes. And patients don’t have to wait around at the pharmacy,while the pharmacist is try ing to call me for a costeffective alternative.” ePocrates Rx Formulary is expected to be rolled out on a regional basis with Express Scripts,with cov erage expanding over the next several months. Physicians using the product can have instant access to their patientbenefit plan and drugcover age information.The information in ePocrates Rx For mulary is updated frequently through the ePocrates’ proprietary AutoUpdate feature. “Our key objectives in forming a strategic alliance with ePocrates are to improve customer service, enhance patient safety, and help reduce pharmacy spending for our clients,”says Agnes ReyGiraud, VP and general manager of ebusi ness at Express Scripts. “With its broad user base, we are hopeful that ePocrates will quickly achieve broad distri bution of formulary informa tion to physicians in order to help us achieve these objec tives.” More than 190,000 physi cians use ePocrates Rx, which contains data on safety topics such as indicationspecific dosing, adverse reactions, and drug interactions. A study conducted last year, showed that physicians using the ePocrates drug reference can potentially avoid one to two adverse events per week.The study also showed that the ePocrates Rx handheld elec tronic drugreference guide saved time for physi cians and also improved the physicianpatient rela tionship. MSDSonline SIGNS SUPPLY AGREEMENTWith Novation In an effort to help healthcare facilities improve operational efficiencies and meet strict compliance regulations, MSDSonline has signed a supply agree ment with Novation, the supply company of VHA Inc. and University HealthSystem Consortium. MSDSonline is providing its electronicbased material safety datasheet services and solutions to VHA and UHCmembers at discounted prices.VHA is a network of communityowned healthcare organizations and their physicians; UHC is an alliance of academic medical centers and associate members. The agreement includes three MSDS services — MSDSadvan tage, BinderView, and Compliance — all of which aim to create pro cess efficiencies, while lowering the cost of complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s hazard communication standard and patientsafety requirements from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. “The services offered by MSDSonline enable VHA and UHC members to lower the cost of managing compliance programs while promoting a safer work ing environment for providers and their patients,” says Bill Woodward, product manager at Novation, which manages about $17 billion in annual purchas es for more than 2,300 VHA and UHC members. “We’re making the process of accessing and managing these compliancecritical documents as simple as possible,”says Greg Buchholz,president of MSDSonline.“By leveraging the efficiencies of today’s Internet technologies, we can offer our MSDSadvan tage service at an affordable price. Now any health carerelated company can have an easy and efficient MSDS compliance system at its fingertips.” Moving to position itself as theWebsite of choice for those seeking information on approved pharma ceutical treatments, Drugs.com LLC has relaunched a searchable database of more than 24,000 prescription and OTC drug descriptions. The site, which targets healthcare professionals and consumers, is pow ered by Micromedex,a member of the Thomson Healthcare Information pub lishing group,and Multum Information Services, a Denverbased specialist in solutions for the growing problem of adverse drug events.Features include a patientcare guide, also provided by Micromedex, and a drug interactions search facility, supplied by Multum. The Website offers a userfriendly interface with intuitive search processes on an extensive database that will be updated regularly. Accord ing to Drugs.com executives, the com pany wants to be seen as the “Google” of the pharmaceutical field. The site attracts thousands of con sumers and healthcare professionals each day, and the company expects to invest about $20 million during the next three years to expand the Web site’s reach. Drugs.com is exploring partner ships and ecommerce opportunities with suchWeb players as Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, Overture.com, Yahoo, and others. Drugs.com RELAUNCHES DATABASE, Seeking to Expand Its Reach More than 24,000 prescription and OTC drug descriptions included in expanded Web database Making the process as simple as possible. Greg Buchholz Customized popup windows deliver drug specific information such as benefit design or treatment guidelines. 77 PharmaVOICE J a n u a r y / F e b r u a r y 2 0 02 Emedia URAC has reached provider partnerships with Exodus Communications Inc., a leading hosting provider,and METASeS,a security assessment com pany. Under the agreements with Exodus and METASeS, applicants to the URAC health Website accredita tion program, can obtain fixed prices for basic security assess ments,which are required under the accreditation standards. URAC’s Website standards constitute the firstever compre hensive, independent accredita tion program for health Web sites. The standards emphasize the importance ofWebsite secu rity when dealing with sensitive personal health information. “One goal of the URAC accreditation program is for consumers to feel confident that accreditedWeb sites have taken the necessary measures to protect their personal information,”says Garry Carneal,URAC president and CEO. “ The URAC Health WebSite Accreditation program is the first real opportunity for health sites to demon strate that they meet high standards of quality and accountability,”says Lisa Gallagher,senior director of healthcare security initiative for Exodus. Patrick McBride, METASeS co founder and executive VP, says, “Healthcare companies need to demonstrate that confidential cus tomer information is sufficiently pro tected.” URAC Partners With Security Firms for WEBSITE ACCREDITATION Publications Planning Tool AIMSTO SPEED ADOPTION of Therapeutic Breakthroughs Physicians World/Thomson Healthcare has launched MessageMatrix, a service that could speed the clinical adoption of new therapeutic advances. While scientific conferences and peerreviewed journals are the most respected media through which to present data on new therapies, it has been shown that findings limited to isolated publications, even based on breakthrough research, do not reach the majority of physicians as quickly as they should. Using MessageMatrix, Physicians World can help researchers disseminate their findings to a broader audience of clinicians, both nationally and globally. MessageMatrix is a Webbased, customized ser vice that maps data from clinical studies against the relevant medical conferences and journals. It also helps track the development and submission of manuscripts — an especially intricate process when more than one clinical group is involved. “Clinical investigators have a variety of opportu nities through which to share important findings with their peers,” says Kevan H. Chambers, general manager of Strategic Solutions Group at Physicians World. “But making the most of those opportunities means reaching out to the right journal or congress, with the right data,at the right time.” Dispensing Solutions and ePhysician Partner to AID PHYSICIANSWITH ELECTRONIC PRESCRIBING Dispensing Solutions Inc. has formed a partner ship with ePhysician Inc. to connect DSI’s Dsystem software with ePhysician’s application suite, ePhysi cian Practice, enabling physicians to prescribe elec tronically via handheld computers. Under the agree ment,DSI’s Dsystem communicates in real time with ePhysician Practice, which allows DSI’s participating physicians to seamlessly dispense inhouse, elec tronic prescriptions, to transmit prescriptions, as well as track manufacturers’ samples on a wireless PDA through the use of the combined platforms.The first installations using the integrated systems were scheduled for December 2001. The agreement also states that ePhysician and DSI are representing each other exclusively in sales to customers interested in integrated dispensing solutions over the next two years. “The match is ideal,”says RichardWolpow,DSIco founder and CEO. DSI is a pharmaceutical management services company offering an array of products and services for virtually every type of medical professional, healthcare organization, health insurer and/or phar macy. ePhysician is a leading provider in the integrated pointofcare solutions and services industry. DISPENSINGSOLUTIONS INC.,Santa Ana,Calif.,creates custom programs addressing the prescribing, tracking, and dispensing needs of the medical professional. For more information,visit dispensingsolutionsinc.com. DRUGS.COM,with corporate headquarters in Delaware, is a public infor mation service Website dedicated to pro viding the most comprehensive OTC and Rx pharmaceutical information available today for consumers and healthcare pro fessionals in the U.S. For more information, visit drugs.com. EPHYSICIAN INC., Mountain View,Calif., improves patient care and practice efficiencies through clinical handheld services. For more information,visit ephysician.com. EPOCRATES INC., San Carlos, Calif., is a handheld physician network,enabling pointofcare access to clinical information.For more information,visit epocrates.com. EXODUSCOMMUNICATIONS INC., Santa Clara, Calif., is a leader in highend, Internet outsourcing,providing managed hosting services for enterprises with mission critical Internet operations.For more information,visit exodus.net. EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC., St. Louis, is an inde pendent, fullservice pharmacy benefit manager.For more information,visit expressscripts.com. METASES,Cornelius, N.C., is a provider of network and Internet security solutions. For more information,visit metases.com. MSDSONLINE,Chicago,develops esolutions for the management of material safety data sheet documents.For more infor mation,visit msdsonline.com. NOVATION, Irving,Texas, is a supplycost management company that serves the needs of two national healthcare alliances. For more information,visit novationco.com. PHYSICIANS WORLD/THOMSONHEALTH CARE,part of Thomson Corp., a Secaucus, N.J., based company, improves healthcare worldwide through education, communication, research,products,and services. For more information,phone 201 2716000, or visit pwcg.com. URAC,Washington D.C., also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, is a nonprofit charitable organization that seeks to establish Website standards for the healthcare industry. For more information,visitp urac.org. Follow up Garry Carneal

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