ALEXANDRIA, Va. Medication therapy management services and cheaper therapies can help improve patient outcomes and save money, according to a new study sponsored by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
With funding from an NACDS Foundation grant, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill conducted the study at Kerr Drug, a regional retail pharmacy chain between 2006 and 2007. The study was published in the May/June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, titled “Retrospective analysis of community pharmacists’ recommendations in the North Carolina Medicaid medication therapy management program.” The study found that when physicians and pharmacists worked together to review patient profiles and communicated more with their patients, patients listened to their healthcare providers and demonstrated better medication adherence.
The study found that through pharmacist-provided MTM services and coordination with prescribers, patient outcomes improved, while they also saved an average of $107 per year per beneficiary. The New England Healthcare Institute estimated that medication-related problems, including poor adherence, cost the healthcare system as much as $290 billion per year.
“Medication adherence is a crucial component in improving patient health and reducing overall public healthcare costs,” NACDS Foundation president Edith Rosato said. “This study is a perfect example of the public benefits of medication therapy management. Counseling patients on how to adhere to medication regimen, recommending lower-cost medication alternatives and recognizing harmful drug interactions can, over time, result in better health for a patient and reduced costs for public healthcare programs like Medicaid.”