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Paper to state lawmakers highlights pharmacist MTM role

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In welcome news for pharmacy chains, the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) has released a briefing paper that highlights the value of pharmacist-led medication therapy management (MTM) services, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

NACDS said Friday that the NCSL’s paper, titled "Medication Therapy Management: Catching Errors, Saving Lives and Money," turns a spotlight on the pivotal role that pharmacists play in helping to improve patient outcomes and rein in health care costs.

The paper is slated to be distributed to 7,300 state legislators, their key staff and council subscribers. That in itself furthers a core mission of NACDS, especially amid the health care reform debate: To get legislators and other government officials to realize the huge potential contribution of pharmacists in the nation’s health care system — a linchpin of the association’s grassroots RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill event on March 11.

The NCSL brief pointed out that one in four Americans, or about 75 million people, don’t follow directions when taking prescription medicines, which can cost an estimated $290 billion annually in hospital admissions, extra doctor visits, lab tests and nursing home admissions.

"Local pharmacists often identify problems or concerns," the paper stated regarding patient difficulties with prescriptions. "To identify and help at-risk patients, pharmacists offer a consumer-friendly program called medication therapy management (MTM)," the document explained.

NACDS has long been an advocate for pharmacist-provided MTM services and the value they can provide in enhancing patient health and reducing health care expenses, as well as in advancing the role of pharmacy in the health care delivery system.

"As the face of neighborhood health care, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to assist patients in managing their health care, providing advice on how to take medications, screenings vaccinations and other pharmacy services," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. "NCSL is demonstrating health care leadership by highlighting innovative strategies to help patients take their medications appropriately.

"These briefing materials often are important steps down the road to pro-patient policy decisions," Anderson added. "We will continue to work with lawmakers at the state and federal levels to advance public policy that strengthens opportunities for pharmacists to offer MTM services for patients."


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