eRx: 5 Reasons for Pharma to Integrate e-Prescription into Patient Support Programs

Electronic prescriptions are the new default in Germany, with millions being issued every day. Read about the key benefits of eRx and how integrating eRx functionality in patient support programs can help pharma improve the patient experience, patient safety, and refill rates

Dan Brown Feb 06, 2024

Dan is a journalism graduate from the UK. He aims to make the complex topic of digital healthcare accessible for both patients and experts, using simple and concise language.

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The rollout of electronic prescriptions (e-Prescriptions or eRx) is in full flow in Germany, with millions being issued every day and becoming the default method across the country. For pharma, the rollout of eRx represents an opportunity to improve the patient experience and, subsequently, improve patient safety and drive refill rates.

5 Reasons for Pharma to Integrate eRx into Patient Support Programs

Pharma’s patient support programs are typically launched for patients taking medications for chronic diseases. Many of these patients are the ones who can benefit most from a more convenient and streamlined prescription process, so the rollout of eRx represents an opportunity for pharma to provide a better patient experience and, ultimately, help overcome issues such as low refill rates and adherence. In this article, we look at five benefits of integrating eRx into digital patient support programs and explain how our MyTherapy platform can help pharma provide a seamless experience.

1. Repeat Prescriptions Up to a Year in Advance

One of the most relevant improvements of eRx over regular prescriptions is regarding repeat prescriptions; doctors can issue repeat e-prescriptions up to one year in advance and determine the date at which each becomes valid. This eliminates the need for patients to contact or visit their doctor for the sole purpose of obtaining a new prescription multiple times throughout the year.

For HCPs and patients alike, this represents a significantly more convenient process for predictable repeat prescriptions and helps mitigate the risk of repeat prescriptions being provided later than they should be.

Patients living with chronic diseases are the biggest benefactors from this functionality, helping ensure that they never run out of their medications. By integrating eRx functionality into patient support programs, pharma can help ensure patients are aware of this capability and take advantage of the benefits it provides.

2. Immediate Availability Checks

Integrating eRx functionality into patient support programs can also help patients immediately check the availability of products at local brick-and-mortar pharmacies.

Software that is capable of accessing e-prescriptions can perform an automated search for the specific product or products on the prescription, helping make the process faster and bypassing the possibility of users entering the incorrect product name.

Furthermore, patients can seamlessly arrange for immediate collection or for it to be ordered in if necessary. This ensures that patients only need to visit the pharmacy once and can be confident that their medications are available upon arrival.

3. Order Online for Home Delivery

Alternatively, eRx integration can allow patients to fill their e-prescriptions online and have their medication delivered to their door.

The eRx functionality we integrate into our MyTherapy platform connects with Redcare Pharmacy (aka Shop Apotheke), smartpatient’s parent company. Doing so allows patients to immediately fill their e-prescription and arrange delivery (the next day, if ordered before 6 pm during the week).

This was previously only possible if patients mailed their paper prescriptions to their online pharmacy of choice, which was a highly time-consuming and inefficient process.

With eRx, patients can now order prescription medications with the convenience we have become accustomed to in other sectors of e-commerce.

4. Health Insurance Card Compatibility Will Add Another Layer of Convenience

The sticking point with the aforementioned benefits of integrating eRx functionality into patient support programs is that, currently, patients still require a printout of their e-prescription to scan a QR code that unlocks the prescription data.

This is not necessary for filling an e-prescription in brick-and-mortar pharmacies, which only require patients’ health insurance cards.

Fortunately, this is going to change shortly. In December 2023, Gematik – the company that develops the core eRx software in Germany – announced that it would enable approved apps to retrieve e-prescriptions via NFC.

This will allow patients to fill e-prescriptions with nothing more than their NFC-enabled health insurance cards and smartphone, leading to an experience as (or more) convenient than visiting a pharmacy.

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5. The Result: More Convenience Can Enable Better Outcomes

The benefits of e-prescriptions listed here combine to create what is a more convenient, modern, efficient, and safer system for patients to fill prescriptions.

By integrating eRx functionality into patient support, pharma can offer an ecosystem that allows patients to manage their treatment in a single app. Patients can store and fill their e-prescriptions, receive reminders based on automated regimen setup, track their itinerary, and benefit from many other features developed to support patients taking regular medications.

Combined, this suite of patient support features can help patients better manage their treatment, drive better adherence, and, ultimately, enable better patient outcomes.

Deliver eRx Functionality with MyTherapy

MyTherapy is already the platform upon which pharma can deliver effective patient support with proven engagement. The eRx functionality within MyTherapy allows patients to store their e-prescriptions, find local pharmacies, and order online via Redcare Pharmacy.

For pharma partners, the implementation of eRx in a patient support program helps create a seamless medication management system that provides patients value daily.

If you would like to learn more about the MyTherapy platform and how it can help you provide class-leading patient support, click here to book a demo.