A study supported by the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores and conducted at Kerr Drug found that pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services and lower-cost therapy alternatives can improve patient outcomes and produce savings for public health care programs.


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Study: Pharmacist-led MTM improves outcomes, yields savings

July 2nd, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A study supported by the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores and conducted at Kerr Drug found that pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services and lower-cost therapy alternatives can improve patient outcomes and produce savings for public health care programs.

The association said Thursday that the study, supported by a grant from the NACDS Foundation, was conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at regional pharmacy chain Kerr Drug.

The 2006-2007 analysis revealed that through pharmacist-provided MTM services — in coordination with prescribers — patient outcomes improved, according to NACDS. What's more, the study found that the MTM services helped the North Carolina Medicaid program save on average $9,444 annually, an average cost savings of $107 per beneficiary.

Titled "Retrospective Analysis of Community Pharmacists' Recommendations in the North Carolina Medicaid Medication Therapy Management Program," the study was published in the May/June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

In addition, the study discovered that when doctors and pharmacists worked together to review patient profiles and communicated with their patients more, patients listened to their health care providers and better adhered to their medications, including lower-cost options such as over-the-counter medications, NACDS reported. These efforts were found to decrease prescription drug costs for the North Carolina Medicaid program.

"Medication adherence is a crucial component in improving patient health and reducing overall public health care costs," NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato said in a statement. "This study is a perfect example of the public benefits of medication therapy management. Counseling patients on how to adhere to a medication regimen, recommending lower-cost medication alternatives and recognizing harmful drug interactions can, over time, result in better health for a patient and reduced costs for public health care programs like Medicaid."

NACDS added that the New England Healthcare Institute has estimated that medication-related problems, including poor adherence, which involves patients not taking medications in the right ways, imposes as much as $290 billion in annual costs, or 14% of health care spending. These costs include emergency room visits, hospitalizations and other preventable forms of care.

Last week, NACDS announced its endorsement of the the Medication Therapy Management Expanded Benefits Act of 2010. The bill aims to enhance pharmacist-provided MTM services for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries by opening MTM to patients with any chronic condition or disease.

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