Pfizer Launches E-payment System in Russia
February 9, 2010
Pfizer is launching a system of electronic payment for medicines that links it directly with patients around the world, according to Financial Times. This month the company will launch its eCard program in Russia with the aim of reaching 500,000 patients over the next year. The move could help boost use of high-priced drugs by providing discounts to the majority of patients in emerging countries who have to pay for their own medicines. Each patient presents their eCard to the pharmacist to receive an automatic discount on the normal retail price, giving Pfizer information on the drug purchases to reimburse the difference to the pharmacist and track patient use directly. By allowing it to offer discounts of up to 50 percent to patients on the pharmacy price, the move may help boost access to expensive drugs by making them more affordable, while increasing Pfizer’s sales. Pfizer first launched its eCard in the Philippines six years ago, where 2.2m patients are now in the system. It has since recruited another 110,000 in Indonesia and 18,000 in Malaysia. Apart from Russia, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela, it plans to expand in Ukraine, the Caucasus and other Latin American markets in the coming months. Patients receive reminders to take their medicines, educational information about their disease, and are eligible for discounts of 15-50 percent.