The role of the pharmacist has evolved considerably over the past decade, and few things exemplify that evolution more than pharmacists taking an active role in patients’ medication therapies and consulting with them one-on-one.
Researchers from pharmacy schools at the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, the University of Southern California and the University of Oklahoma collected data for “environmental scans” from U.S. MTM providers and payers using self-administered online surveys conducted between 2007 and 2010, according to a white paper published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
The study found a need to integrate MTM between organizations and patients serviced, partnering organizations and collaborating healthcare providers, as well as that “a ‘channel of distribution’ is emerging in which organizational relationships and cost efficiencies will be important considerations in the near term.” The researchers suggested that customer portfolio management and transaction cost economics would help to integrate MTM into the U.S. healthcare system.
Still, retailers across the country have embraced MTM as a way to improve medication adherence. Under a collaboration that began last year, Walgreens and Decatur, Ga.-based DeKalb Medical have the retailer’s pharmacists helping patients understand and comply with their therapies following treatment at the hospital. In November 2011, just three months after the collaboration started, the two reported that it had led to improved patient care and satisfaction.
In September 2011, Rite Aid announced that it had joined the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance, an initiative created by UnitedHealth Group, to have pharmacists offer diabetes consultations and MTM services to patients at several of its stores in New York and Washington.