Inside This Issue - News
Importance of Rx adherence recognized
November 8th, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has hailed an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as further validation of the need for public policy to embrace pharmacists’ expertise in helping patients take their medications correctly.
The association says the article supports its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the role that medication adherence plays in improving health care outcomes and reducing costs.
“The use of medications in older patients is arguably the single most important health care intervention in the industrialized world,” Dr. Jerry Avorn of the division of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, says in his article “Medication Use in Older Patients: Better Policy Could Encourage Better Practice.”
However, he notes that “dys-organization [in health care delivery] is particularly problematic for complex patients with several chronic conditions who take multiple medications, often provided by numerous specialists in little or no contact with one another — a recipe for pharmacological chaos.”
Avorn notes that pharmacists could be part of the solution.
Though health care reform will not change the delivery system, Avorn says the legislation suggests exploring so-called “medical homes” to address the fragmentation of care that prevents providing integrated, coherent drug regimens for elderly patients with complex health care needs.
“The medical homes could include pharmacists and nurses working with physicians to develop, implement and monitor drug regimens,” he explains.
NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson says the association is committed to unleashing the power of pharmacy to help improve lives and to reduce the estimated $290 billion in annual costs — 13% of all health care expenditures — related to not taking medications correctly.
“This effort is resulting in consistent progress, such as the advancement of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management that provides a methodical approach to increasing medication adherence,” he says. The JAMA article “is yet another drumbeat that should continue to inspire action for further progress in public policy.”