Pro-Pharmacy, Pro-Patient Services Encouraged in Healthcare Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. (Vocus) June 9, 2009 -- Today, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) held a timely Congressional briefing on the benefits of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM). NACDS' Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs and Chief Pharmacist Edith Rosato, RPh, moderated the briefing, which included participants from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Mirixa, and the University of Iowa. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) also addressed the informational briefing.
"As the face of neighborhood healthcare, pharmacists are medication experts, and are uniquely in tune with their patients' medication needs and requirements," said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. "Pharmacist-provided medication therapy management enhances the pharmacist-patient relationship, improves communication and dialogue, encourages proper patient adherence to medication regimes, and provides unique and individual healthcare services, especially to those patients who suffer from chronic disease."
The briefing panel of experts discussed patient-care benefits of MTM, the practical impact on providing healthcare to rural and underserved populations, and the cost-savings potential for inclusion within comprehensive healthcare reform legislation.
"Pharmacists are much more than the purveyors of a commodity," said NCPA Executive Vice President and CEO, Bruce T. Roberts, RPh. "They offer a wide array of services that can maximize the benefits of medications for patients. That's why we strongly support medication therapy management and believe those efforts can be buttressed through the legislative process. Congressman Dave Loebsack, in particular, recognizes the benefits it provides patients. Now more than ever, as we discuss healthcare reform and improving medication adherence, embracing pharmacist-provided MTM is a no-brainer."
Research has shown that only 50 percent of patients properly adhere to their prescription drug therapy regimens, which has been estimated to impose approximately $177 billion annually in direct and indirect costs. This inadequate medication adherence rate is associated with about $47 billion annually for drug-related hospitalizations, an estimated 40 percent of nursing home admissions, and potentially $2,000 a year in costs for doctor visits.
"I applaud Congress for listening to the nation's medication experts at today's informational briefing," continued Anderson. "Innovative pharmacy services, like MTM, have the ability to transform the healthcare delivery system in America and improve individual healthcare, encourage a healthier population while also reducing overall costs. As Congress continues their serious deliberations on comprehensive healthcare reform legislation, NACDS and our pro-patient, pro-pharmacy partners stand ready to assist them to further encourage the role and position of pharmacy in our healthcare system."
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies. Its more than 160 chain member companies include regional chains with a minimum of four stores to national companies. NACDS members also include more than 1,000 suppliers of pharmacy and front-end products, and 85 international members representing 28 countries. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ a total of more than 2.5 million employees, including 118,000 pharmacists. They fill more than 2.5 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $750 billion. For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org.
Mirixa Corporation, sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), is the leader in targeted patient care services delivered via the nation's largest pharmacy based patient care network. Dedicated to improving patients' health, Mirixa enables the healthcare community to deliver patient care services through retail pharmacy. For more information, visit www.Mirixa.com. NCPA, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org.
Chrissy Kopple, NACDS
Kevin Schweers, NCPA
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