Baby Boomers Lead Pharma Online Script Fulfillment - eMarketer by eMarketer, Jan 30, 2013

Mobile apps are key means of ordering prescriptions online Consumer healthcare research has increasingly moved to the internet, and now consumers are beginning to manage their pharma prescriptions online as well. Baby boomers are the generation most likely to have pharmaceutical needs, and as such, they are defying digital norms by leading, rather than following, the online trend. More than one-third of baby boomers were already managing their prescriptions online, according to October research from customer experience management company Empathica. And nearly as many baby boomers were actually filling those prescriptions online, a higher percentage than either Generation X consumers or millennials doing the same.

Though in-store remains by far and away the most popular place to fill a prescription, with seven out of 10 US internet users doing so, the internet is gaining fast. Nearly one-quarter of respondents reported filling online. Pharmacies have been slow to keep up, however, and are likely keeping those numbers down. According to Empathica, 40% of pharmacies had no online presence.

Granted, providing consumers with online pharmacy access may not be as simple as creating a website. Most consumers who did fill their prescriptions online reported doing so through a mobile application.

For pharmacies looking to gain online users, mobile is key. Two out of five internet users said they would like their primary pharmacy to offer a mobile health app, which might be a forum to fill prescriptions as well as a place to find further health and script information.

Despite the relatively high demand for a mobile app, only 16% of internet users were aware of their pharmacy offering one. Three-quarters of respondents said they didn’t know if their pharmacy offered a mobile health app, suggesting an opportunity for pharmacies that have developed such an application to educate consumers on its availability.

The survey also found that pharmacies have not been very successful at fostering loyalty, with three out of five respondents reporting that they are not loyal to any one pharmacy. With loyalty so hard to come by, convenience is one of the most significant benefits a pharmacy can offer. Mobile applications and online order fulfillment can provide one means of satisfying—and retaining—a growing customer base.

Pharmacy, Baby Boomers, Mobile, Rx Biotech, Prescription

Prescribing trends for targeted therapies in rheumatoid arthritis among rheumatologists in Southern California, 2008–2010    View Article
by Siamak Bagheri PharmD1, Daniel J. Wallace MD2 - Article first published online: 28 OCT 2011

Author Information
Siamak Bagheri, Rx Biotech, West Hollywood, CA
Daniel J. Wallace, University of California, Los Angeles

Publication History
Issue published online: 28 OCT 2011
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2011
Accepted manuscript online: 18 JUL 2011 12:48PM EST

Prescribing trends for targeted therapies in rheumatoid arthritis among rheumatologists in Southern California, 2008–2010

Practicing rheumatologists have a choice of 9 biologic therapies that may be appropriate in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including the 3 new agents introduced since 2008. Rx Biotech is a prescription service that specializes in supplying patients and practitioners with products for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. It has been used on at least one occasion by almost all rheumatologists in private practice in Southern California. These specialists' specific choices of biologic interventions, as the proportions of all newly initiated treatments, were examined for the years 2008–2010 and are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. New prescriptions for biologic agents written by rheumatologists for RA patients*  

2008 2009 2010 2-year change
Anti-TNF 93.6 95.1 92.6 -1.0
Infliximab 9.2 12.1 10.7 1.5
Adalimumab 41.5 42.1 35.7 -5.8
Etanercept 42.9 28.4 29.3 -13.6
Certolizumab - 4.2 8.3 8.3
Golimumab - 4.2 8.3 8.3
Rituximab 3.2 2.3 2.5 -0.7
Abatacept 2.6 2.3 3.6 1.0
Tocilizumab - - 1.0 1.0
Anakinra 0.6 0.3 0.3 -0.3
New biologic prescriptions, no. 927 1,783 2,206 -
Prescribing rheumatologists, no. 143 182 231 -
New prescriptions initiated, mean per physician 6.5 9.8 9.5 -
* Except where indicated otherwise, values are the percentages of treatments prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Anti-TNF = anti–tumor necrosis factor.

Among 231 rheumatologists utilizing the services of Rx Biotech, the 3 original anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents (etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab), as a proportion of all biologic agents dispensed, decreased modestly over the last 3 years (93.6% to 75.7% of newly initiated treatments), with etanercept demonstrating the largest decrease (13.6%). Two newer agents, golimumab and certolizumab, are equally prescribed and account for 1 in 6 newly initiated treatments. Non–anti-TNF agents (rituximab, anakinra, tocilizumab, abatacept) are prescribed for the first time to only 1 in 14 RA patients prescribed a new biologic therapy. These data demonstrate the persistent tendency to prescribe anti-TNF agents (92.6%) as the agent of choice for patients with RA seen by private practitioners in Southern California.

Next-Generation Pharmacist Videos by Pharmacy Times, Published Online: Thursday, February 14, 2013.

Next-Generation Pharmacist Videos

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