Pharmacy lobbying groups back MTM Empowerment Act of 2011

NACDS, NCPA express support of legislation

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — New legislation that supports medication therapy management, which is known to improve patient health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, has been endorsed by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011, which was introduced by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., builds on legislation that Hagan authored in 2010 and also was co-sponsored by Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Tim Johnson, D-S.D.

The legislation supports MTM, a professional service offered by pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners that helps ensure medications are taken appropriately and can help patients — particularly Medicare beneficiaries and those with such chronic diseases as hypertension and diabetes — continue adhering to their medications, NACDS and NCPA said in a joint statement Thursday.

"This commonsense legislation can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed, which can lead to improved health, as well as lowering their healthcare costs,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said.

Added NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger, "Patients rely on their trusted, community pharmacists for expert medication counseling and cost-saving services. Nowhere is that truer than with MTM."

A July 2009 report by the New England Health Institute estimated that the overall cost of poor medication adherence, measured in otherwise avoidable medical spending, is as much as $290 billion per year, or 13% of total healthcare expenditures.

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