Electronic prescribing or e-prescribing (e-Rx) refers to electronic transmission of prescriptions from physicians to pharmacists through computer or other handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. E-prescribing system has improved the safety of patients by significantly reducing prescribing errors due to ambiguous abbreviations and illegible handwriting. It has also reduced healthcare costs over the paper based prescription systems. The global e-prescribing market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 23.5% during the period between 2013 and 2019. The overall market was worth US$250.2 mn in 2013 and is projected to reach a valuation of US$887.8 mn by 2019.
The robust growth of the global e-prescribing market can be attributed to various government initiatives. For example, the European Patient Smart Open Services (epSOS) has been introduced to offer cross-border interoperability of electronic health record systems across 25 European nations. In the U.S., the New York state has adopted Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) law to reduce drug diversions. Improved quality of healthcare and reduced prescription errors have led to wider adoption of e-prescribing system. Improved healthcare infrastructure and advanced features of e-prescribing system will drive the global e-prescribing market in forthcoming years.
However, high cost of e-prescribing system is a major hindrance to the growth of the global e-prescribing market. Selection of right software and hardware platforms for e-prescribing system is a major challenge. Lack of patient privacy and security, along with dearth of IT professionals in remote areas to handle the system will further restrain the growth of the market in the near future. The global e-prescribing market has a huge opportunity to grow with the implementation of electronic health records with e-prescribing system. The usage of mobile devices for prescribing medications to patients has gained popularity across healthcare industry and has emerged as a current trend in the market. E-prescribing is also gaining importance in ambulatory medical record systems.
Cloud-based E-Prescribing System to Dominate Overall E-Prescribing Market
On the basis of delivery mode, the global e-prescribing market has been categorized into web-based, on-premise, licensed, and cloud-based. With the growing adoption of cloud technology, the demand for cloud-based e-prescribing system is expected to rise significantly in the next couple of years.
In terms of usage mode, the global e-prescribing market has been segmented into PC-based and handheld devices. Increased usage of mobile devices has propelled the demand for handheld devices in the e-prescribing market across the globe.
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North America to Lead Global E-Prescribing Market in Coming Years
The global e-prescribing market has been segmented into three key regions: Asia, Europe, and North America. Europe accounts for the largest share in the market owing to the proliferation e-health projects such as Schleswig-Holstein Health Initiative and epSOS. These health projects have played a pivotal role in the adoption of e-prescribing systems.
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However, in the near future, North America is anticipated to be the fastest growing region in the market with improved healthcare infrastructure leading to wider adoption of e-prescribing system. Several government initiatives such as National Council for Prescription Drugs Program and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act have augmented the growth of the e-prescribing market in the region.
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Key Players in Global E-Prescribing Market
Some of the key players operating in the global e-prescribing market are athenahealth Inc., Cerner Corporation, Allscripts, DrFirst, eClinicalWorks, Emdeon, Practice Fusion Inc., Henry Schein Inc., Surescripts, and HealthFusion Inc.