AmeriSource to Begin Testing Innovative Central Prescription Processing Program This Fall

August 28, 2000

VALLEY FORGE, Pa.--(BW HealthWire)--August 28, 2000--AmeriSource Health Corporation (NYSE:AAS), one of the nation's leading pharmaceutical distributors, today announced that this fall it will begin testing a new central prescription fulfillment program called "Autonomics."

The program combines the automation of the most time-consuming prescription fulfillment activities, such as insurance adjudication and drug utilization review, with the economies of unit-of-use packaging to help pharmacies lower costs and allow pharmacists more time to counsel patients. Under the autonomics program, prescriptions will continue to be filled at the retail location.

AmeriSource's technology partner is TechRx, a leading provider of pharmacy software solutions. TechRx will provide its T-Rex(TM) Central Processing software for the Autonomics initiative. American Health Packaging, an AmeriSource company, will produce the unit-of-use packaging for the program.

"Autonomics is another good example of AmeriSource using its resources to help pharmacists increase their productivity, while enhancing the important pharmacist-patient relationship," said R. David Yost, AmeriSource President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our response to the retail pharmacies' most immediate challenge of how to fill more prescriptions with the same or fewer pharmacists, is a flexible program that keeps the prescription in the pharmacy, enhances consumer service and lowers operating costs."

With Autonomics, prescriptions are electronically transferred to a central processing center where routine fulfillment activities such as insurance adjudication, drug utilization review and physician contact for clarifications or exceptions are quickly completed. The processed prescription is then electronically returned to the pharmacy for immediate dispensing.

Approximately 50% to 70% of the prescriptions will be filled with a standard unit-of-use package. This pre-packed approach saves time and reduces errors. As the pharmacy's inventory is depleted, central processing automatically generates an order enabling the AmeriSource distribution center to replace the unit-of-use packages the next day.

"Autonomics results in significant improvements in the retail pharmacy's operations," said Ron Clerico, a registered pharmacist, AmeriSource Vice President and general manager of the new initiative. "Costs are lowered through inventory control, reduced cost per prescription, reduced errors, and less need for in-store automation, just to name a few."

"But," he continued, "the real benefit is in consumer service improvements. Pharmacists have more time to focus on patient care and counseling, while patients experience no delay in prescription delivery, as is often the case with central-fill operations where prescriptions are filled and transferred from remote, high-volume pharmacies. Greater consumer focus by the pharmacist allows the pharmacy to establish that critical link with the patient that builds future business."

About AmeriSource

AmeriSource Health Corporation, with more than $11 billion in operating revenue, is a leading distributor of pharmaceutical and related healthcare services and the industry's largest provider of pharmaceuticals to the acute care/health systems market.

Headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, the Company serves its base of about 15,000 customer accounts through a national network of 24 strategically located distribution facilities. For news and additional information about the company, visit its web site at

About TechRx

TechRx is the industry's largest provider of pharmacy software solutions. TechRx provides end-to-end technology that enables drug store chains, independent pharmacies, mail order services, and Central Processing and Fill facilities to automate the entire prescription fulfillment chain, from order processing to insurance adjudication, dispensing and distribution.

For additional information, contact TechRx at (800) 860-2372 or visit the company's Web site at

Certain information contained in this press release includes forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act) that reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events and financial performance.

Certain factors such as competitive pressures, success of restructuring initiatives, market interest rates, regulatory changes, continued industry consolidation, changes in customer mix, changes in pharmaceutical manufacturers' pricing and distribution policies, the loss of one or more key customer or supplier relationships and other matters contained in the Company's 10-K for fiscal year 1999 and other public documents could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements.

The Company assumes no obligation to update the matters discussed in this press release.

CONTACT: AmeriSource Corporation
Michael N. Kilpatric