January 23, 2012 08:38 ET

NCPDP Announces Its 2011 Year in Review

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - Jan 23, 2012) - The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP), a not-for-profit pharmacy standards development organization, releases a recap of its 2011 initiatives that support the organization's three, often interrelated, areas of focus: (1) providing a forum for assessing and addressing pressing industry issues, (2) improving patient safety, and (3) bringing forth ANSI-accredited standards for industry-wide adoption.

Among NCPDP's 2011 accomplishments are:

  • Mobilizing Industry Around Best Practices for Prescription Container Labels for Drugs Containing Acetaminophen
    NCPDP hosted focus groups and produced a white paper providing industry guidance on best practices for labeling prescription container labels for medicines containing acetaminophen, the overdose of which remains a serious public health problem. NCPDP continues to move the patient safety issue forward to make it easier for patients and consumers to recognize when prescription medicines contain acetaminophen and to support the safe use of these medicines.
  • Exploring Evolving Industry Needs for Electronic Prior Authorizations (ePA)
    The process of coordinating prior authorization when required for drugs and procedures is time-consuming, costly and can cause delays in getting needed medications to patients. NCPDP reconvened its ePA Task Group in 2011 to evaluate the use of existing ePA transactions, pilot efforts, and assess industry needs that have expanded with advances in medication therapy management (MTM), biotechnology, designer drugs and other factors. The ePA Task Group will work to develop a flexible, industry-wide standard for the exchange of ePA data.
  • Developing New Standards for Medication Therapy Management (MTM)
    Pharmacist administered MTM programs have been proven to boost medication adherence and patient engagement, prevent medication errors, and decrease healthcare costs. NCPDP developed new MTM transactions to increase the accuracy of service requests and pharmacist documentation of MTM services.
  • Enhancing SCRIPT Standard to Enable Electronic Prescribing (e-Prescribing) of Controlled Substances
    In 2011 NCPDP released an enhancement to the SCRIPT Standard, a core requirement of Meaningful Use (MU), to enable e-Prescribing of controlled substances. The SCRIPT and other NCPDP e-Prescribing standards improve patient safety and also enable providers to make better informed decisions at the point of care with access to medication history and formulary and benefit information.
  • Easing the Implementation and Appropriate Use of REMS
    Providing access to medications that carry safety concerns -- when the benefits outweigh risks for certain patients -- is subject to FDA-mandated REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies). Using NCPDP's ANSI-accredited Telecommunication Standard, NCPDP developed a reference guide for pharmacists, physicians and manufacturers to ensure compliance, manage physician engagement, benefits and workflow, and maximize patient access and effectiveness.
  • Lending Expertise to Educate Policy Makers
    NCPDP has a 35 year track record of successfully bringing industry together to develop business solutions and improve patient safety. Government agencies, legislators and policy makers have increasingly relied on NCPDP as a valuable resource on the pharmacy/healthcare industry, standards, interoperability, collaboration and consensus-building. NCPDP continues to educate policy makers on the role of pharmacists in the interdisciplinary patient care team, contributing expertise and knowledge that are vital to improving healthcare delivery.

"We made tremendous progress in 2011, moving patient safety initiatives forward and enhancing interoperability and collaboration across healthcare," stated Lee Ann Stember, President of NCPDP.

The organization continues to expand its reach, influence and membership year after year. Stember continued, "It is gratifying to be part of an organization that makes a real difference in improving the business and delivery of healthcare -- for pharmacists, physicians and patients."

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Founded in 1977, NCPDP is a not-for-profit, ANSI-accredited, Standards Development Organization with over 1,600 members representing virtually every sector of the pharmacy services industry. Our diverse membership provides leadership and healthcare business solutions through education and standards, created using the consensus building process. NCPDP has been named in federal legislation, including HIPAA, MMA, and HITECH. NCPDP members have created standards such as the Telecommunication Standard and Batch Standard, the SCRIPT Standard for e-Prescribing, the Manufacturers Rebate Standard and more to improve communication within the pharmacy industry. Our data products include dataQ™, a robust database of information on more than 75,000 pharmacies, and HCIdea™, a database of continually updated information on more than 2 million prescribers. NCPDP's RxReconn™ is a legislative tracking product for real-time monitoring of pharmacy-related state and national legislative and regulatory activity. For more information about NCPDP Standards, Data Services, Products, Educational Programs and Work Group meetings, go online at or call (480) 477-1000.

Contact Information

    Janet Cabibbo
    Amendola Communications for NCPDP
    480-664-8412 ext. 15
    Email Contact