TYSONS CORNER, Va. — Today, The Get the Medications Right (GTMRx) Institute is sharing the results of a new survey that assesses the medication management habits and needs of over 1,000 people. Among the findings, nearly one quarter of people surveyed cited that their medications are not routinely reviewed and evaluated by their medical team—a shocking fact, given that one-third are taking four or more medications and/or supplements per day. Additionally, the survey found that nearly one in five people are being prescribed medication from three or more doctors in the past year, leaving even more room for error. With 50% of health care leaders recently citing lack of communication between prescribers and pharmacists as the biggest issue in medication management right now, the results are validating for the many experts who believe now is the time for serious medication management reform.
“The time for a fundamental change in the way medications are managed is now,” said Katherine H. Capps, co-founder and executive director of The GTMRx Institute. “We must reform the broken process and move toward a team-based, person-centered approach that recognizes appropriately skilled clinical pharmacists as the medication experts on the team, working in collaborative practice with physicians and other providers. Experts agree that widespread adoption of comprehensive medication management is the right path forward to avoid waste and continued life-threatening medication disasters.”
The GTMRx Institute—and its membership of close to 1,400 health care leaders—advocates for the broad adoption of comprehensive medication management (CMM), a more rational process of care in which physicians and clinical pharmacists work together to ensure that each medication is appropriate for the patient, effective for their medical condition, safe given the patient’s health status and other medications and able to be taken by the patient as intended.
Evidence shows that the financial return on investment (ROI) for CMM programs average around 3:1 to 5:1 and can be as high as 12:1, resulting in a reduction in the direct mean medical cost of between $1200 and $1872 per patient per year. Through the CMM process, clinical pharmacists can prevent—or identify and resolve—medication therapy problems; in collaboration with the physician, they ensure that clinical goals of therapy are achieved. Unfortunately, this service is not widely available to those that can most benefit from it. And while experts and leaders in the health care field know the critical importance of getting the medications right, the survey also found that less than half of Americans know the full scope of a clinical pharmacist’s role. Pharmacists trained to deliver CMM services evaluate whether the medications are working, are safe, effective and appropriate, collaborating with the physician to create a personalized medication plan—which sometimes includes stopping harmful medications.
“The CMM model allows each member of the interprofessional patient care team to focus on what they do best: for clinical pharmacists that’s optimizing medication and for primary care physicians that’s diagnostics and patient relationships,” said Paul Grundy, MD, president of the GTMRx Institute. “For too long we’ve asked physicians to act as storage devices who know every single thing about the patient and be an expert in everything, and that approach has failed. CMM takes undue pressure off physicians and prescribers by letting doctors be doctors.”
For more information on The GTMRx Institute, visit http://www.gtmr.org.