Pharmacies Partner for Real-Time Data

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Ten of the top U.S. prescription providers have joined to create a consumer data warehouse for the prescription drug market in a partnership announced yesterday.


The companies have formed a joint venture, ArcLight Systems, Dublin OH, to provide up-to-the-minute information on the approximately 1 billion prescriptions distributed each year. Only nonidentifiable consumer information will be available.


ArcLight, which has located its data facilities in Paradise Valley, NV, will make data available 24 hours a day online with updates every 10 minutes. Using the data, drug manufacturers can track sales, spot trends and analyze the impact of market events such as new product releases.


The full database will be available in the fall. Thirteen undisclosed pharmaceutical companies have installed the data system, dubbed R(x)ealTime, ArcLight said.


The data are presented in aggregate format to head off privacy concerns about the release of individually identifying health data. ArcLight said it would enforce strict compliance with federal and state regulations regarding health privacy.


Partners in the effort include top U.S. retailers Albertson's Inc., Cardinal Health Inc., CVS Corp., Kmart Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Additional partners in the venture include Duane Reade Inc., New York; Happy Harry's Inc., Newark, DE; Kerr Drug, Durham, NC; Lewis Drug, Sioux Falls, SD; and May's Drug Stores, Tulsa, OK.


The combined annual sales of the companies total more than $300 billion.


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