- E-prescribing giant Surescripts has acquired ActiveRADAR, a company that aims to find cheaper medication alternatives.
- ActiveRADAR, formerly known as RxTE Health, evaluates drugs in 165 therapeutic categories to identify clinical equivalents, then uses health plan-specific data to determine alternative medications that could reduce costs for employers and patients, according to the company.
- The deal, announced on Monday, makes ActiveRADAR a wholly owned subsidiary of Surescripts, according to a company spokesperson. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The deal with ActiveRADAR aims to reduce drug spend and provide lower-cost medication alternatives for providers, Lynne Nowak, chief data and analytics officer at Surescripts, said in a statement.
High drug costs are a perennial problem in the U.S. About 30% of adults reported not taking their medications as prescribed — like skipping doses, using an over-the-counter drug or avoiding filling prescriptions — due to cost concerns over the past year, according to health policy research firm KFF.
The deal announcement comes after Surescripts settled a yearslong antitrust case with the Federal Trade Commission this summer, after regulators alleged the company maintained monopolies in two e-prescribing markets.
Surescripts argued the case relied on factual errors and mischaracterizations of the market. The settlement, announced this summer, bars the company from imposing exclusivity agreements on its clients and enforcing non-compete agreements with current and former employees for 20 years.
Surescripts, a health IT vendor best known for its software that routes prescription information between providers and pharmacies, is owned by healthcare giant CVS Health, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and two trade groups.
PBMs — the middlemen that negotiate rebates and fees with drugmakers, create formularies and reimburse pharmacies for prescriptions — have been the target of recent Congressional scrutiny for their role in rising drug costs. PBMs make up a chunk of Surescripts’ ownership, with CVS running its own Caremark PBM.
Surescripts also works with PBMs on electronic prior authorization and data sharing on patient eligibility and benefit information.