NACDS Seeks Expanded Medication Therapy Management Services

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) reports that it is endorsing H.R. 1024, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, which would expand access to MTM services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program. The proposal was introduced by U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Lee Terry (R-NE) and Bruce Braley (D-IA). 

“NACDS appreciates the leadership of U.S. Rep. McMorris Rodgers in spearheading this commonsense legislation, as well as Reps. Kind, Terry and Braley. This bill can help patients understand the importance of taking their medications as prescribed,” stated NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in a press release. “Innovative pharmacy services such as MTM help to improve patient health and healthcare affordability, especially for those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other conditions.”

“We all acknowledge the tremendous advancements that have been made in medicine, but more than half of all patients do not take their medications correctly – and seniors are particularly vulnerable,” stated Rep. McMorris Rodgers in the press release. “These health risks – and the exorbitant costs associated with them – can be substantially reduced if MTM is expanded. That is exactly what this legislation will do. This bill will reduce costs and promote overall health for seniors in Eastern Washington and all across America.”

According to NACDS, medication therapy management (MTM) is a professional service offered by pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners that helps ensure medications are taken appropriately to help reduce the risk of adverse events, and help control healthcare costs.

NACDS points out that health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50% of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually.

It also cites a November 2012 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that “estimates that a 1 percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled by beneficiaries would cause Medicare’s spending on medical services to fall by roughly one-fifth of 1 percent.”  

“Pharmacists are widely trusted healthcare professionals with extensive education. They are trained medication specialists who work collaboratively to help patients use medicines safely and stay healthy,” said Anderson in the statement. “This legislation will go a long way in helping to further pharmacists’ ability to help improve patient health and make healthcare more affordable.”

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