“Medication-related errors are a top preventable cause of serious adverse health events and avoidable readmissions,” McInnis wrote in the 2016 report, Get the Medications Right: A Nationwide Snapshot of Expert Practices. These errors often arise from lack of a systematic and coordinated approach to manage drug therapy—an approach that optimizes the expertise of every member of the health care team. “Health plans, employers and other payers also benefit when they pay only for medications that are safe, appropriate and effective for the patient; comprehensive medication management accomplishes this,” she says.
Today, we live in a time of major shift in clinical diagnostics (collection points and insight; treatment and medications). Access to life-saving medications is at an all-time high; there are more than 10,000 prescription medications available. Research published in March 2018 estimates non-optimized medication therapy results in 275,689 deaths and costs more than $528 billion per year. Medication errors, a subset of medical errors, occur in 3.8 million inpatient and 3.3 outpatient visits a year.
It’s time to align payment models with systems of care to integrate comprehensive medication to optimize patient outcomes.
- We are on the cusp of a new era of specialty medications and gene therapies that will transform care, calling for appropriate use of companion and complementary diagnostics for medications.
- In less than a decade there will be a shortage of primary care physicians, which could further fragment care.
- We have not closed the feedback loop between specialists and primary care providers relating to medication use.
- There are more medications than ever, and FDA is approving them at a faster pace.
- Prescription drug costs are rising at double-digit rates.
- The pharmacist’s role is changing, and the role as “medication expert” is underutilized.
- Pharmacogenomics informs which combination of medication and dosage is most effective and safe for a particular patient and opportunities abound.
- The 21st Century Cures Act, enacted by the 114th U.S. Congress in December 2016, will accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of cures, allocating $4.8 billion to the NIH for precision medicine and biomedical research and more widely opening the door for discoveries for more personalized medicine.
It’s time to bring those who pay for care, those who purchase care and those who provide care together to find solutions.
Join us. Together we can transform practice, use evidence wisely and implement real policy solutions.
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