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More doctors are prescribing medicines online

Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2010

Doctors are increasingly prescribing medications electronically, abandoning the traditional paper scripts that can result in drug errors due to hard-to-read writing or coverage denials by a patient's insurer, the Wall Street Journal reports. The number of e-prescriptions nearly tripled last year to 191 million from the previous year's 68 million, representing about 12% of the 1.63 billion original prescriptions, excluding refills, according to Surescripts LLC, whose online network handles the bulk of the electronic communications. For the first three months of this year, nearly one in five prescriptions was filed electronically. About 25% of all office-based doctors currently have the technology to e-prescribe, more than twice as many as at the end of 2008, Surescripts says.