GW Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that Epidiolex, an experimental drug derived from marijuana, has successfully reduced epileptic seizures in its first major clinical trial. According to the New York Times, the finding could lend credence to the medical marijuana movement. The New York Times reports that if Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, it would be the first prescription drug in the United States that is extracted from marijuana. Dravet syndrome is one of the most severe and difficult-to-treat types of epilepsy. (New York Times)
“Better care, smarter spending, healthier people.” Those were the goals set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in September when it unveiled plans for a five-year federal experiment to gauge the effectiveness of expanded medication therapy management for Medicare patients.
The future of American health care could be summed up in one word — “connection.” To thrive in a fast-reforming healthcare system that demands better patient outcomes at a lower cost, pharmacies, physicians, hospitals, health systems, outpatient clinicians and diagnosticians are going to have to connect much more effectively, both with one another and with the patients they serve.
Going back at least to the mid-1800s, many community pharmacists have been given the informal title of “doc” or “doctor” by grateful local residents, particularly in smaller towns and rural communities where the local pharmacist might be the only health provider within miles. These days, the title is more than honorary; it’s a requirement.
The savings card is accepted at more than 60,000 pharmacies, FamilyWize said, including such major partners as Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kmart, Publix, Costco, Albertsons and Safeway, Kroger and Sam’s Club.
For decades, the pharmacy profession labored under a widespread, but inaccurate, public perception of pharmacists as little more than dispensers of prescription medicines and givers of basic counseling on their use. No more. Pharmacists today are highly trained, clinically engaged patient-care specialists making a huge and rapidly growing impact on population health management in communities all over America.
With medication nonadherence leading to enormous health complications for millions of Americans — and generating staggering and needless cost spikes that add as much as $290 billion a year to the nation’s healthcare costs — the search for ways to get patients to take their prescription medicines as directed has become increasingly urgent.
Here’s a fact that keeps health plan administrators and anyone else responsible for budgeting health costs awake at night: 1-in-5 hospital patients ends up back in the hospital within 30 days of their discharge. And the biggest factors pulling them back all have to do with medications — either through medication errors, nonadherence or adverse drug events.