Bipartisan bill will help to reduce costs,
improve patient health through better medication adherence
Alexandria, Va. March 7, 2013 - The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1024, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013) by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ron Kind (D-WI) to expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management (MTM) programs.
MTM involves pharmacists working with patients to review and monitor their medication plan to maximize its effectiveness and avoid potential health problems, ultimately helping to reduce costs in the long run. With approximately 1.5 million preventable adverse drug effects occurring every year as a result of medication errors, medication therapy programs can greatly improve patient safety.
"NCPA is proud to support common-sense, cost-effective legislation that recognizes the growing contributions of pharmacists to patient care," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "Allowing more Medicare beneficiaries to receive one-on-one medication counseling from their trusted pharmacist will ensure that more seniors are taking their medication properly."
H.R. 1024, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, will increase the number of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who qualify for one-on-one counseling sessions with a licensed pharmacist to any patient with a chronic medical condition. Currently, only those patients suffering from specific multiple chronic conditions are eligible.
Research indicates that the cost savings from MTM can be significant. One Minnesota study found a 12:1 return-on-investment for MTM. In North Carolina, Kerr Drug reports that MTM programs there helping seniors produced a 13:1 return.
Hoey continued, "With improper use of medication costing an estimated $290 billion a year, medication therapy management programs can reduce serious health risks among patients and save money. NCPA thanks Representatives McMorris Rodgers and Kind for their commitment to improving patient care for America's seniors, and we encourage the House of Representatives to act quickly on this bipartisan legislation."
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.5 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com/.
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