Medication therapy management (MTM) services continue to gain traction among consumers and on Capitol Hill.


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Support builds for pharmacist-led medication therapy services

October 10th, 2013

NEW YORK – Medication therapy management (MTM) services continue to gain traction among consumers and on Capitol Hill.

In a website posting on Wednesday, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores said it recently commissioned an opinion survey of 800 voters that included questions related to the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act (S. 557 in the Senate and H.R. 1024 in the House of Representatives).

NACDS said the bill would provide the MTM benefit in Medicare Part D to those with one chronic disease, not just to those with multiple chronic conditions.

After survey respondents were provided a factual description of the legislation, 82% indicated they favor the measure and 18% oppose it. Of the bill's supporters, 32% strongly favor it.

What's more, the legislation garners strong support regardless of party affiliation, NACDS noted. Among Republican survey respondents, 74% favor the legislation, and among Democrats, 88% support it. Similarly, 84% of Independents favor the measure.

"While the path ahead remains steep, NACDS remains focused on creating and communicating the strong momentum behind the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act, and these efforts are meeting with success," Steve Anderson, president and chief executive officer of NACDS, said in the posting.

The survey findings reflect the legislation's bipartisan support in Congress, according to NACDS. Nearly a third of the House and more than a quarter of the Senate have co-sponsored the bill, and across Congress 54% of the co-sponsors are Democrats and 46% are Republicans.

"When you talk with your members of Congress or others about the legislation, you might want to keep in mind this additional finding of the NACDS opinion research," Anderson stated. "Participants were provided examples of reasons that advancing the legislation would benefit seniors. The most popular reason among those tested was 'This program will help increase the number of seniors taking their medication as prescribed, which will help reduce their risk of further illness, which will help control health care costs.' "

Also on Wednesday, MTM service provider OutcomesMTM highlighted research showing that MTM-eligible Medicare Part D beneficiaries, when offered a comprehensive medication review (CMR)  report that having their regular pharmacy provide the service is a key factor that drives acceptance.

The findings are from a survey reported in the September/October issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Researchers sought to identify factors that influence patients' decisions to get pharmacist-provided CMRs, as well as describe patient experiences with pharmacist-provided CMRs.

Out-of-pocket costs were also a key CMR acceptance factor identified in the study. Today, the costs of a CMR and other MTM services are covered by health plans, OutcomesMTM noted. And among respondents who had received a CMR previously, patients reported satisfaction with the CMR.

"These results align with our approach of positioning local pharmacists as the primary providers of MTM services, especially the comprehensive medication review," Tom Halterman, CEO of OutcomesMTM, said in a statement. "When it comes to something as important as their health care, and in particular their medications, patients want to work with local pharmacists they know and trust. Not unexpectedly, they are less inclined to share information with a stranger on the phone."

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