TYSONS CORNER, Va. — The Get the Medications Right (GTMRx) Institute has issued the results of its new medication management survey of over 300 health care leaders on the biggest issues facing the industry. According to one in four of those surveyed—including health care providers, hospital/health system executives, payors, advocacy groups and academics—the biggest issue in health care right now is professional silos that prevent patient-centered integrated care. And when asked what is the biggest issue in managing medications specifically, most chose lack of communication between prescribers (physicians, specialists, etc.) and pharmacists—rather than cost of medications.
“The major discussion around pharmacy benefits centers on access to and affordability of drugs, but the elephant in the room is appropriate use of all medications,” said Katherine Capps, co-founder and executive director of The GTMRx Institute. “We must find a better way to optimize medication use to avoid life-threatening and wasteful overuse, misuse and underuse. Outside of discussions around the opioid crisis, the tragedy of medication misadventures are not often quantified or brought to the table. How can we manage the over 10,000 drugs available on the market today without re-engineering the process of care toward a systematic, patient-centered and team-based approach? We believe, along with the experts, that a move toward comprehensive medication management (CMM) is the way to get there.”
The survey also looked at the broad awareness and adoption of CMM, a systematic approach to medications where physicians and pharmacists ensure that they are individually assessed to determine the appropriateness, effectiveness and safety of each medication. Although more than 96% of those surveyed believe we need a more comprehensive and integrated way to manage medications, 44% said that CMM is not well understood or not understood at all in their immediate network. And those surveyed know that CMM has the power to create actionable change; nearly 84% of respondents believe that wide adoption of CMM could help stem the opioid addiction crisis.
“The effects that widespread CMM adoption could have are innumerable, but the need is particularly urgent for patients with multiple chronic conditions,” said Paul Grundy, president of the GTMRx Institute. “For patients who are taking multiple medications and seeing multiple physicians, CMM is hands down the best path forward because it improves medical outcomes by ensuring medications are appropriately and effectively used while also reducing the total cost of care. We’ve already seen proven success with CMM in major health systems like the Department of Veterans Affairs, but a complete systematic overhaul will take buy-in from every possible angle.”
Those surveyed recognize that the path to overhaul may not be straightforward. Regarding where the resistance is likely to come from, those surveyed are largely in agreement: nearly half cite resistance from medical carriers/ PBMs to move from management of drugs to delivering a reimbursable process of care as the biggest obstacle to wide adoption of CMM. Conversely though, the survey finds that thoughts on where to start—what the first step should be in changing the way we manage medications—are nearly evenly split: just over one-third of respondents chose physicians working in collaborative practice with pharmacists to help patients reach their clinical goals of therapy, 31% chose access to clinical information at the point-of-care for all team members working with the patient and 27% chose payment for CMM services.
For more information on The GTMRx Institute, visit http://www.gtmr.org.