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By Katherine H. Capps, Co-Founder and Executive Director, GTMRx Institute

October 23, 2019

On April 17 of this year, we announced the formation of the GTMRx Institute (Get the Medications RightTM) with much excitement and a lot of uncertainty. We asked ourselves, if we build it, will they come? Fast forward six months and the answer is a resounding yes!

I’m thrilled to share that as we stand at the six-month mark, we have tripled our annual membership goal—now over 600 members strong and growing daily—we’ve added several new executive members, and welcomed seven distinguished fellows. All of this effort has built a community that, together, has ignited conversation and debate on how to transform practice and care to best answer what is a deceptively simple question, “Is this the right medicine for this person?”

From the (too many to count) personal briefings, conference presentations, events, webinars, interviews and various activities the leadership team has conducted these last six months, we’ve validated some assumptions that we had starting the Institute, we’ve uncovered some challenges we hadn’t anticipated and we’ve identified opportunities to address them.

Key insights include:

  • “Appropriate” as an Adjective vs. Verb. Stakeholders across health care recognize and support the concept of “appropriate use of medications and gene therapies” as a way to ensure the right person is taking the right medicine in order to avoid the suffering and waste that happens when there is no rational and systematic approach available to consumers and their caregivers. We need to build the infrastructure that will allow us to get beyond misaligned strategies, focused on how we re-appropriate the shrinking funds in our country’s healthcare wallet, and will instead allow us to avoid financial waste and optimize treatment outcomes through appropriate use of medications.
  • Impact of Technology + Consumers. Advances in technology, consumer-managed access to their own health information when visiting their physician, and analytics give us an unprecedented ability to personalize and coordinate medication management across providers and points of care. We need to re-engineer our health care information infrastructure around having access to personalized, actionable information wherever and whenever decisions are made. New data standards and regulations to combat information blocking will help. Also critical, will be making sure consumers and their care teams have the tools they need to make sense of and act on this information.
  • Making Room for Innovation. Advances in diagnostic testing and molecular science are presenting new opportunities to target medications to a person’s genetic profile. Outcomes and cost benefits, particularly in oncology treatment targeting, show us that it’s not a question of “if” personalized medicine should be covered, it’s “how”, and in what way it can be efficiently implemented in the real world. This is truly a case where the devil lies in the details on how to handle access to, coverage of and reimbursement for tests and therapies—and incorporate them into the care team’s workflows.
  • Words Matter. Everyone has different terms and ways of talking about medication therapy management. The Institute believes in order to vastly improve outcomes and reduce overall health care costs, we must get out of the silos, move upstream from “medication adherence” alone and also make room for a more person-centered approach to medication use through comprehensive medication management (CMM), a team-based form of medication therapy management. Having clarity and alignment around these definitions is essential to support the development of innovative care delivery and payment models that we need to get beyond incremental improvements.
  • Learn from Evidence, Make Way for Implementation. CMM draws upon early work of innovative providers and payers, many of whom are highlighted in a seminal multi-stakeholder report from the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative. This real-world experience, together with the work of implementation science, gives us a framework to translate and apply this 10-step process consistently in different care settings. Realizing the vision of a personalized, team-based, patient-centered, coordinated approach to medication use depends on our success in operationalizing this process.

If you’ve visited our website, you’ve seen most of these topics covered in our webinars, issue briefs, podcasts, blogs and other content. We’re also curating historic documents that showcase expert practices across the country that you’ll find of interest, particularly if you are directly involved in care delivery.

If I had to pick just one insight from these first six months that has most stuck with me, it is realizing just how complex it is to answer that one deceptively simple question, “Is this the right medicine for this person?”

Being able to answer that question correctly for every person, every single time is why we are here—and it is an endeavor well worth pursuing! As we look ahead to the next six months and beyond, we look forward toward much more robust conversations and collaboration as we work together to address the urgent need to optimize outcomes and reduce costs by getting the medications right.

For everyone who has been part of the GTMRx Institute community so far, thank you for your support and collaboration! We could not have reached this milestone without active engagement of our board, our executive member leadership, our small but mighty GTMRx team and members like you who spread the word about our vision, mission and work as well as offer thoughtful insights and support whenever called upon.

And, if you’re new to the Institute or not yet a member, I hope you’ll join our growing community of visionaries and changemakers!

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