NACDS Urges Action as Government Study Backs Health Benefits of Medication Management



February 7, 2013

Arlington, Va. — National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, calls a new study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) “further proof of community pharmacy’s ability to improve patients’ lives while making healthcare more affordable in this country.”

CMS yesterday released “Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in a Chronically Ill Population: Interim Report.” The study describes reduced prescription drug costs and hospitalization costs among patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were newly enrolled in a Medicare Part D MTM program in 2010.

MTM is a methodical approach to improving medication use and reducing the risk of adverse events that has been advanced substantially by the increasingly patient-centered focus of pharmacy education and by pharmacists’ increasing recognition for medication expertise.

“This CMS study shows yet again that public and private payers who pursue pharmacist-provided MTM are on the right track for improving the effectiveness, quality and affordability of patient care,” Anderson said. “This is exactly why NACDS has focused on the priority of further advancing MTM through legislation and raising awareness of its value within the private sector. When it comes to patient care and smarter approaches to healthcare, MTM is a winner.”

The CMS study said, “In comparison to Medicare beneficiaries with CHF or COPD who did not receive any MTM services in 2010, those who were enrolled in MTM programs — particularly those who received annual CMRs [comprehensive medication reviews] – experienced significant improvements in the quality of their drug regimens.”

In the 112th Congress, NACDS supported legislation to improve Medicare’s MTM benefit, and efforts already are underway to marshal support for such a legislative initiative in the current 113th Congress.

“Community pharmacies are widely recognized for their core function of helping patients use medicines safely and stay healthy,” Anderson said. “Innovative pharmacy services — including MTM – do even more to improve health, quality of life and healthcare affordability. This is particularly true for many Americans in the greatest need.”

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