There was a claim in the letter dated June 25 that RxHub and SureScripts, among others, sell this data. This statement and the implication that electronic prescribing is somehow tied to the use of patient data for commercial purposes is just plain false.
SureScripts routes prescriptions from providers to retail pharmacies. RxHub provides benefits information from payers to providers. With a patients consent, both SureScripts and RxHub provide medication history to providers for the provision of care. All but one of SureScripts and RxHubs network services are provided to certified physician technology vendors and their physician users at no cost. (The lone exception is medication reconciliation services for the acute-care setting.) Both organizations support operations primarily through transaction fees paid by the retail pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers. Furthermore, virtually every state board of pharmacy has laws and regulations in place that strongly protect the confidentiality and integrity of prescription information as it is transmitted from prescribers to pharmacies through the e-prescribing infrastructure. SureScripts and RxHub comply with all such rules.
For those prescribers who have yet to try e-prescribing, we encourage you to do your own research in order to understand how e-prescribing works. Many professional medical societies, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Cardiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association and Medical Group Management Association have looked at e-prescribing carefully and can help guide your education. In doing so, you will quickly realize that, as part of a larger effort to protect patients' privacy, SureScripts and RxHub have and will continue to ensure that e-prescribing involves no communication, sharing, sale, or transfer of pharmacy prescription data, even in de-identified form, with data-mining firms, payers, pharmaceutical companies, employers or other organizations not involved in the delivery of medical care to the patient.
J.P. LittleActing chief executive officerRxHubSt. Paul, Minn.
Rick RatliffActing CEOSureScriptsAlexandria, Va. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.