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NACDS: Senator advocates for MTM coverage
December 17th, 2012
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is hailing Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) for her leadership on behalf of pharmacy patient care, in particular medication therapy management (MTM).
NACDS said Monday that Hagan and seven other senators have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging bipartisan support of enhanced MTM coverage for seniors.
The letter called for the inclusion of language in any year-end legislation that would enable seniors with chronic diseases to benefit from MTM services if the intervention could yield a cost savings to Medicare.
"As the sponsor of the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act, NACDS thanks Sen. Hagan for her continued leadership and commitment to community pharmacy and patient care," Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS, said in a statement. "Community pharmacies can provide MTM services to help patients manage their health, especially for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma or other conditions."
Under Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits, seniors must have "multiple chronic conditions" and be prescribed "multiple medications" before they are eligible for MTM services, according to NACDS.
"Only one-quarter of seniors currently has access to MTM, while many more can benefit from the service," Hagan and the senators noted in the letter. "Research shows that only 50% of patients properly adhere to their prescription drug therapy regimens, and poor adherence costs the nation approximately $290 billion a year, nearly 13% of total health expenditures."
MTM involves a pharmacist or other health care professional working with a patient to review and track their medication regimen to optimize its effectiveness while avoiding problems that could increase medical expenses. NACDS noted that in the North Carolina ChecKmeds program, for example, MTM helped 31,000 seniors maximize their drug therapy for a savings of $34 million, a return on investment of almost 14-1.
"We believe the best way to make sure Americans use medications effectively is through professional services offered by pharmacists and other qualified health care providers, including medication therapy management (MTM)," the senators' letter stated. "Evidence shows that MTM improves outcomes and reduces unnecessary medical costs."
Signing the letter along with Hagan were Sens. Daniel Akaka (D., Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), Al Franken (D., Minn.), Tim Johnson (D., S.D.), Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) and Thad Cochran (R., Miss.).