The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) says that pharmacists play an important role in improving patient outcomes and saving healthcare costs. Could they help reform healthcare ahead of (or instead of) any legislation? Can you help them?
NACDS cites the briefing paper Medication Therapy Management: Catching Errors, Saving Lives and Money by the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), which explains the potential of pharmacist-medication therapy management (MTM) services. The paper notes that one in four Americans (about 75 million people) do not follow directions when taking prescription medicines. This can cost an estimated $290 billion annually in hospital admissions, extra doctor visits, lab tests, and nursing home admissions.
“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to assist patients in managing their health care, providing advice on how to take medications, screenings vaccinations and other pharmacy services. NCSL is demonstrating healthcare leadership by highlighting innovative strategies to help patients take their medications appropriately,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “These briefing materials often are important steps down the road to pro-patient policy decisions. We will continue to work with lawmakers at the state and federal levels to advance public policy that strengthens opportunities for pharmacists to offer MTM services for patients.”
The paper states that “many patients do not understand health information.” A lack of understanding can be especially problematic for chronic conditions. If compliance is low for expensive medications and patients bounce around from one regimen to another, treatment costs could rise, perhaps unnecessarily. NCLS believes that MTM for patients with such chronic conditions as asthma and diabetes could help contain costs.
Can you help support pharmacists with detailed packaging and labeling? Your efforts may not only help reduce healthcare costs, but it could help patients stick with your products and not switch another drug.
Can you share any packages that have made a difference?