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Study: Patients see value in pharmacist-led MTM services
July 21st, 2009
NEW YORK – Patients are largely unfamiliar with medication therapy management (MTM) but believe such a pharmacist-provided service would be valuable, according to recently released findings of a study led by the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy.
Published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, the study aimed to gauge patient views about MTM services in a community pharmacy setting. It also sought to devise educational strategies and outreach programs to boost awareness of MTM and expand the role of pharmacists in advising patients on medication use.
A total of 81 patients completed a MTM survey in early 2006 at four chain pharmacies — two of which had patient care centers offering clinical services — in Maryland and Delaware, including Walgreen Co. Happy Harry's locations.
Among the findings, 60% of patients had never heard of MTM services, and 80% never had a medication therapy review. What's more, 78% never had a personal medication record, and 86% never had a medication action plan.
However, 56% of patients believed that pharmacist provision of medication therapy reviews, personal medication records, medication action plans, recommendations about medications and referrals to other health care providers was very important, the study found. And at least 70% considered one-on-one consultations with pharmacists to improve their medication use and overall health as very important.
In addition, more than half of patients expressed interest in receiving brochures or talking to their pharmacist to learn more about MTM services.
Some patients indicated concerns about privacy and taking up pharmacists' time. Yet the study concluded that community pharmacists have a key opportunity to inform patients about MTM services.