Two leading pharmacy trade groups have endorsed legislation that would broaden access to pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services for Medicare Part D patients.


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MTM bill endorsed by NACDS, NCPA

June 30th, 2009
The legislation would widen access to MTM services for Medicare Part D patients.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two leading pharmacy trade groups have endorsed legislation that would broaden access to pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services for Medicare Part D patients.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have declared their support for the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2009 (H.R. 3108), sponsored by Rep. Mike Ross (D, Ark.).

Introduced last Friday, the bill has been referred to the House committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, which have jurisdiction over health care reform legislation.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of Rep. Ross as he continues to advocate for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy health care reform legislation in Congress,” Steve Anderson, NACDS president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Rep. Ross’ bill signifies the importance of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management for improving medication adherence, enhancing patient health and reducing long-term health care costs.”

Pharmacist-provided MTM involves a licensed pharmacist’s work with a patient to review, monitor and identify problems with a patient’s medication plan.

The Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act will expand the pool of Medicare Part D patients that can access MTM services and recognize pharmacists for the savings they provide to the health care system, according to Bruce Roberts, executive vice president and CEO of NCPA.

“Medication therapy management is a gateway to improving patient adherence and their outcomes by utilizing the clinical expertise of pharmacists,” Roberts said in a statement.

“We thank Congressman Mike Ross for introducing this bill and urge other members of the House to support it,” he added. “We call on the Senate to introduce similar legislation. Ultimately for health care reform to be fully successful, it must include proposals such as this to improve quality while lowering overall costs.”

The associations said MTM has been shown to reduce health complications and costs. They cited a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota study that showed a reduction of $12 in overall health care costs for every $1 invested in MTM.

Also, an article published in the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association in 2001 estimated that poor medication adherence costs more than $177 billion annually  — a figure that likely has soared since then, NACDS and NCPA said. Direct and indirect costs include loss of productivity and more emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

 

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