NOVEMBER 01, 2007

Medication therapy management (MTM) should include an annual comprehensive medication therapy review conducted during a face-to-face visit with a pharmacist, according to a new set of "core elements" for MTM. These core elements were developed by representatives from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).

"A face-to-face interaction optimizes the pharmacist's ability to observe signs of and visual cues to the patient's health problems and can enhance the patient? pharmacist relationship," the proposed new APhA/NACDS document explained.

In calling for face-to-face MTM services, the 2 groups concluded that "the pharmacist's observations can result in early detection of medication-related problems and thus have the potential to reduce inappropriate medication use...and hospitalizations." The core elements acknowledge that alternative methods of providing MTM services, such as "telephonic contact," may be necessary for "homebound patients."

"Irrespective of whether the MTM service is provided by the pharmacist to the patient face-to-face or by alternative means, the service is intended to support the establishment and maintenance of the patient?pharmacist relationship and focus on optimizing medication therapy and improving patient outcomes," the proposal concludes.