The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation hailed a new report on medication adherence by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) that calls for a closer look at the impact of care teams.


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NACDS lauds call for team care in Rx adherence

October 13th, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation hailed a new report on medication adherence by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) that calls for a closer look at the impact of care teams.

NEHI's report — titled "Medication Adherence and Care Teams: A Call for Demonstration Projects" and supported by a wide coalition of organizations, including the NACDS Foundation — seeks a national strategy to examine the role that care teams can have in improving patient adherence to prescription medicines, the foundation said Wednesday.

"Existing medical evidence supports the idea that team-based care can provide superior treatment of chronic conditions. Care teams are integral to the patient-centered medical home and to other models of improved patient care that are designed to improve efficiency, affordability and ultimately patient outcomes," the NEHI report stated.

In addition, the report also cited the accessibility of community pharmacies and expertise of pharmacists as a key element of a team-based approach to care.

"Pharmacists and commercial pharmacies are ubiquitous and easily found in communities where the typical physician practice may be small and without extensive resources. Many patients have more frequent contact with their pharmacists than with their physicians and their physicians' staff, and patient surveys indicate that patients trust pharmacists highly for advice and counsel on medications and medication management," the report read. "An increasing proportion of U.S. pharmacists graduate with advanced degrees (such as a Pharm.D. degree) that qualify them to provide advice on medications directly to patients."

The NACDS Foundation noted that NEHI called on health care stakeholders to develop a series of demonstration projects using care teams. One promising strategy identified, the foundation said, is the "virtual care team," a collaboration between small physician practices, community pharmacists, and other external health professionals.

The new report is part of NEHI's "Thinking Outside the Pillbox” series stemming from the institute's research into improving medication adherence for patients with chronic disease. Formally launched in August 2009, the initial report estimated that prescription nonadherence costs approximately $290 billion a year in related health care costs, about 13% of all health care spending.

"When medications are not taken correctly, public health suffers," NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato said in a statement. "This report continues land-breaking work by NEHI in raising awareness of this critical health challenge, and identifying potential solutions."

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