Inside This Issue - News
NACDS Foundation backs call for improving medication adherence
October 25th, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation has applauded the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) for advocating a national strategy to examine the role “care teams’ can have on improving medication adherence.
The call to action came in an NEHI report titled “Medication Adherence and Care Teams: A Call for Demonstration Projects,” which was supported by a broad coalition of organizations that included the NACDS Foundation.
Poor medication adherence exacts a heavy toll by resulting in unnecessary illnesses, disability and premature deaths. The report says adherence can be improved across broad populations with the coordinated implementation of multiple strategies instead of “rifle shot” interventions.
Care teams, which can comprise physician and nonphysician caregivers — including pharmacists — are well suited to facilitate these interventions because of the multiple people and skill sets involved at the point of care.
“The use of care teams is a starting point for possible solutions to poor medication adherence,” says lead researcher Thomas Hubbard, a senior program director at NEHI, a national health care research and policy institute. “But we need a robust body of evidence that examines the impact they can have in a wide variety of practice settings.”
The report calls on health care stakeholders to develop a series of demonstration projects using care teams. One promising strategy identified is the “virtual care team,” a collaboration between small physician practices, community pharmacists and other external health care professionals.
The new report is part of NEHI’s “Thinking Outside the Pillbox” series stemming from its research into improving medication adherence for patients with chronic disease. The initial report estimated that prescription nonadherence costs approximately $290 billion a year in related health care costs, about 13% of all health care expenditures.
“When medications are not taken correctly, public health suffers,” points out Edith Rosato, president of the NACDS Foundation. “This report continues groundbreaking work by NEHI in raising awareness of this critical health challenge and in identifying potential solutions.”