Psychiatric Pharmacists Provide Comprehensive MTM

There is greater need for comprehensive medication management (CMM) delivered by board-certified psychiatric pharmacists on the health care team.

There is greater need for comprehensive medication management (CMM) delivered by board-certified psychiatric pharmacists on the health care team, according to a position paper released by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP).

Because of various shortcomings in health care, like inadequate treatments or adverse effects, pharmacists have an opportunity to step in and make treatments for psychiatric disorders more effective.

“As part of the team approach to care, pharmacists can ensure that the use of medication is optimized,” Carla Cobb, PharmD, BCPP, government relations chair and past president of the CPNP, explained to Pharmacy Times in an exclusive interview. “Most people are unaware that there are pharmacists who specialize in caring for people with mental illnesses…We felt the need to let the world know that there is help out there.”

Because the need for such services has increased dramatically, the CPNP said psychiatric pharmacists should work with physicians within a CMM team to improve patient outcomes. CMM encompasses the belief that treatments should be effective, safe, and appropriate for the patient’s diagnosis, taking into account his or her comorbid conditions and other medications. Health care professionals, pharmacy educators, and legislators should work to ensure that all patients with psychiatric or neurologic disorders have access to CMM provided by psychiatric pharmacists, the CPNP stated.

What might surprise pharmacists is the CPNP’s endorsement of CMM as the standard of care, which the organization feels is necessary because it can provide consistent, evidence-based care for pharmacists to ensure that each medication-related problem is addressed and resolved, Dr. Cobb told Pharmacy Times. The role of a psychiatric pharmacist could be highlighted through this effort, and would lead to an increased demand for pharmacists to provide care directly to patients.

“People with mental illnesses…want a pharmacist who will provide information about prescription and OTC medications, benefits, and side effects in a private and confidential setting,” Dr. Cobb explained, adding that a pharmacist’s ability to identify and resolve medication-based problems is an enormous benefit to patients. “Pharmacists in all settings have the opportunity and responsibility to provide care that impacts the recovery of their patients with mental illnesses.”