The National Community Pharmacists Association has released "Moving Forward on a Solid Foundation: Year One Progress Report," which examines the progress of its Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence (PAMA) effort.

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NCPA reports on medication adherence initiative

November 29th, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association has released "Moving Forward on a Solid Foundation: Year One Progress Report," which examines the progress of its Pharmacists Advancing Medication Adherence (PAMA) effort.

NCPA said Wednesday that the goal of PAMA is to make it easier for community pharmacists to provide adherence services as a core competency of the profession, equivalent to the dispensing process, by 2015. The report, which covers July 2011 through July 2012, outlines the steps that are under way toward that objective.

"NCPA is committed to advancing and improving patient medication adherence, which is why we launched this ambitious, comprehensive, and realistic five-year program to address this problem," NCPA chief executive officer B. Douglas Hoey said in a statement. "As very accessible and highly trained medication experts that patients trust, independent community pharmacists are perfectly suited to help drive greater adherence. NCPA wants to help its members maximize their potential in this critical component of health care."

Hoey added, "During the past year, a strong foundation has been laid to achieve the PAMA vision. Our efforts are described in this progress report that focuses on pharmacy education, pharmacists and pharmacy operations, patient care services, and public policy. We are confident that, when the five-year program concludes, the disturbing number of $290 billion a year being wasted on the improper use of medication will begin to recede and momentum for further improvement will be clear."

Through PAMA, NCPA has launched Simplify My Meds, an adherence program that enables pharmacists to coordinate patients' prescription refills on a single day of the month. The association noted that the model provides a more comprehensive and coordinated level of pharmacy care, reduces the potential for gaps in therapy, and promotes improved medication compliance.

In fact, NCPA said, research has confirmed that refill coordination at a single pharmacy is an effective tactic to improve adherence, and to date more than 26,000 patients are benefiting from the service at more than 700 community pharmacies nationwide.

NCPA also launched, an online resource that provides pharmacists and other health care providers with a set of tools, programs and materials to use with patients to help them understand the goals and outcomes of their prescription regimen, manage their chronic conditions and take their medications as prescribed.

Specifically, PAMA programs focus on providing tools for pharmacists to advance patient understanding of adherence behavior; tracking pharmacist engagement and measuring patient understanding of the importance of their medication regimen; promoting increased emphasis on integrating adherence practices into pharmacy education; and communicating results and effectiveness to policy makers, health care media, other health care providers, health plans, patients and caregivers.

NCPA added that the success of PAMA also depends on the partnerships it can create with other organizations and stakeholders, as demonstrated by its partnership with the National Consumers League's "Script Your Future" campaign.

"The PAMA initiative not only will make a difference in the lives of patients and save our health care system wasted dollars, but it will hopefully cause America's health care system to better incorporate the wealth of expertise independent community pharmacists bring to the table," Hoey stated.

PAMA is supported by unrestricted grants from the Cardinal Health Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Pfizer, NCPA said.

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