Inside This Issue - News
Senator goes to bat for more MTM coverage
January 7th, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. – North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan continues to be hailed by community pharmacy advocates for her efforts to improve patient care.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, for instance, recently cited the Democratic lawmaker for her continued leadership on behalf of pharmacy patient care.
In a recent letter to Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), Hagan and seven other senators reiterated their support for medication therapy management, NACDS says. The letter urged the inclusion of language in any end-of-year legislation that would allow seniors who suffer from any chronic disease to benefit from MTM services if the intervention could result in a cost savings to the Medicare program.
Under the current Medicare Part D rules, seniors must have multiple chronic conditions and be prescribed multiple medications before they are eligible for MTM services.
“Only one-quarter of seniors currently has access to MTM, while many more can benefit from the service,” the letter noted. “Research shows that only 50% of patients properly adhere to their prescription drug therapy regimens, and poor adherence costs the nation approximately $290 billion a year, nearly 13% of total health expenditures.”
Hagan has been a longtime champion of expanding MTM services to a wider audience, citing the positive impact that a broad-based program in her state has had on patient care.
That program — known as ChecKmeds — has helped 31,000 seniors optimize their drug therapy for a savings of $34 million — a return on investment of nearly 14 to 1.
“We believe the best way to make sure Americans use medications effectively is through professional services offered by pharmacists and other qualified health care providers, including ‘medication therapy management,’ ” the letter from Hagan and her Senate colleague says. “Evidence shows that MTM improves outcomes and reduces unnecessary medical costs.”
NACDS executives say that Hagan’s relentless push for expanded MTM services helps underscore the value that community pharmacists bring to the country’s health care system.
“As the sponsor of the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act, NACDS thanks Sen. Hagan for her continued leadership and commitment to community pharmacy and patient care,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson says. “Community pharmacies can provide MTM services to help patients manage their health, especially for those who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma or other conditions.”