Medco, Verizon offer personalized medication app

By: Brian Dolan | May 19, 2011        

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MedcoMedco Health Solutions has inked a deal with Verizon Wireless to offer a mobile medication app that provides users with information about lowest cost prescription options and potentially harmful drug interactions based on the user’s prescription history. The free app, called Medco Pharmacy, is available for Verizon Wireless Android and BlackBerry devices from the mobile operator’s V CAST store.

BlippMedia developed a similar app for Medco called My Rx Choices, which was created for the iPhone, but it doesn’t appear to be in the iTunes AppStore anymore (if it ever was). Blipp described it as an “iPhone application and mobile web project for finding prescription drugs and their related generics” that enabled users to “find alternatives that could save [them] money, research interactions, view images and buy them securely at Medco.”

Verizon Wireless rarely announces new health or medical apps for its V CAST store but a deal with a company like Medco obviously warrants it. Previous Verizon Wireless app announcements include a home health worker app and an announcement about a group of health apps, including Pill Phone — both made in 2009.

The Medco app announced this week has three core offerings, according to the companies:

  • My Rx Choices: Delivers on-demand, personalized out-of-pocket costs for any prescription medication and lower-cost options based on the member’s pharmacy plan coverage, as well as for eligible dependents; informs the registered members who can share the information with their physicians or pharmacist if there are any health or drug plan rules that require a physician authorization before the drug can be dispensed; and provides alerts to potential drug interaction risks associated with the current medications the person is on and a new medication a physician intends to prescribe.

  • My Medicine Cabinet: Allows individuals to view the medications they are on and set reminders for themselves or members of the household to take or refill those medications.  Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins and supplements can be added and checked for possible interactions with current prescription drugs.  The drug review is automatic if the OTC is purchased at The Medco Health Store.

  • Prescription ID Card: Offers convenient, easy access to a member’s prescription drug card anytime, anywhere.

For more on the apps, read the press release from Verizon Wireless below:

VERIZON WIRELESS AND MEDCO Unveil First Mobile Medication App with Real-Time Patient-Specific Drug Safety and Savings Information

Free App Available on Verizon Wireless BlackBerry® and Android Smartphones

Basking RiDge, N.J., and FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. – Verizon Wireless and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today announced a mobile application that can instantly guide patients and their doctors to the lowest-cost prescription drug to meet their health needs and help them identify potentially harmful drug interactions.  Available now on Verizon Wireless Android handsets and BlackBerry devices, the new Medco Pharmacy mobile app delivers critical information to help Medco members manage their prescription medications.

The Medco Pharmacy mobile app, available for download in V CAST Apps, provides information about out-of-pocket costs for any prescription drug and lower-cost options specific to a person’s prescription drug plan, as well as drug interaction alerts based on the patient’s prescription history – even if the patient is treated by several doctors or fills prescriptions at many different pharmacies.  Once registered at medco.com, patients will have their complete medication history and drug plan at their fingertips and can discuss cost-saving options, drug safety or coverage issues with their medical professional, even before they leave the doctor’s office.

The Medco Pharmacy mobile app, offering unique healthcare functionality, consists of three key features:

  • My Rx Choices: Delivers on-demand, personalized out-of-pocket costs for any prescription medication and lower-cost options based on the member’s pharmacy plan coverage, as well as for eligible dependents; informs the registered members who can share the information with their physicians or pharmacist if there are any health or drug plan rules that require a physician authorization before the drug can be dispensed; and provides alerts to potential drug interaction risks associated with the current medications the person is on and a new medication a physician intends to prescribe.

  • My Medicine Cabinet: Allows individuals to view the medications they are on and set reminders for themselves or members of the household to take or refill those medications.  Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, vitamins and supplements can be added and checked for possible interactions with current prescription drugs.  The drug review is automatic if the OTC is purchased at The Medco Health Store.

  • Prescription ID Card: Offers convenient, easy access to a member’s prescription drug card anytime, anywhere.

“Wireless devices are a part of the lifestyle as we know it today, and millions of people rely on their BlackBerry and Android smartphones for instant information,” said Mike Ross, vice president of sales, healthcare, Verizon Wireless.  “Reliability is paramount to not only medical information, but for a network too.  Our combined technologies will give users a powerful tool that can help them manage their medical care.”

According to Medco research, 500,000 prescriptions that have a lower-cost option available are written every day for Medco members, illustrating the enormous potential savings opportunities that exist.  The app is built on Medco’s My Rx Choices prescription savings and patient safety program, which was launched online in 2006.

“The Medco Pharmacy mobile app provides innovative patient-specific pharmacy information that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the healthcare system; it puts actionable information in front of patients so they’re able to share it with their physicians, even while still in the exam room, or the pharmacist before dispensing.  It provides personalized results for the more than 65 million members we serve,” said Tom Feitel, senior vice president, Imagineering and Innovation, Medco.  “Medco is proud to bring this mobile solution to its clients and members as we continue to look for innovative ways to accelerate electronic practices within the healthcare system.”

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, visit www.verizonwireless.com.  Go to www.medco.com for more information about the Medco Pharmacy mobile app.

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About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 104 million total wireless connections, including more than 88 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About Medco

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world’s most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for approximately 65 million members.

With more than 20,000 employees worldwide dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2010 revenues of nearly $66 billion, Medco ranks 35th on the Fortune 500 list and is named among the world’s most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.

For more information, go to http://www.medcohealth.com.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.