NACDS endorses bipartisan Senate bill to expand MTM services for seniors

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today applauded the introduction of S. 557, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with the support of original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Al Franken, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The legislation seeks to expand access to MTM services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program.

“NACDS appreciates the leadership of Sens. Hagan and Roberts in spearheading this commonsense legislation, as well as the support of original cosponsors Sens. Brown, Franken, Johnson and Klobuchar. This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” said NACDS President and CEO Steve Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a professional service offered by pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners that helps ensure medications are taken appropriately to help improve health, reduce the risk of adverse events, and help control healthcare costs. Congress created the MTM benefit under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 for Medicare beneficiaries by requiring MTM services for patients on multiple medications suffering from chronic conditions or diseases.

"Medication Therapy Management is the type of commonsense, fiscally responsible program that should be expanded to benefit more seniors," said Sen. Hagan. "In North Carolina, this program has saved tens of millions of dollars, but more importantly, it has helped keep seniors healthy. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to expand this program to more seniors so that we can keep improving health outcomes without increasing health costs."

“We have recognized the value of pharmacists in the health system for many years. They are especially valuable for our Kansas communities, and can sometimes be the only health provider in our rural towns.” said Sen. Roberts. “MTM is an important tool in the pharmacists tool box for many patients but which can be critical for those suffering from chronic conditions. The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act gives patients access to valuable counseling and management for their conditions, and takes the essential steps to guarantee what we already know: that MTM will save the system money while providing higher quality care for patients. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation.”

Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50 percent of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually.

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