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Katherine Capps
Katherine Capps

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

April 17, 2019

The challenge seems almost insurmountable—advance evidence-based, appropriate use of medication and gene therapies so the right medication reaches the right person at the right time.

But today we offer a clear path forward with the launch of the GTMRx Institute. Health care stakeholders now have a rallying point to work together and dramatically accelerate comprehensive medication management (CMM)—team-based care where pharmacists serve as the medication experts  in collaborative practice with physicians. Industry leaders J&J, Medecision, American College of Clinical Pharmacy and Quest Diagnostics have already stepped up, along with the Veterans Health Administration and the California Chronic Care Coalition, and agreed to take part in the work to inform the Blueprint for Change we aim to release later this year. Working together with other members (individual membership is free!), we will engage in task forces to outline the specific steps that need to be taken at the practice, payment and policy levels to make CMM a reality.

It’s important to note that GTMRx is going upstream from the typical discussion of prescription adherence alone. We’re asking this initial fundamental question—is this the best medication for this person in the first place? The prerequisites to answer this question correctly include access to the patient’s health history and medical record through interoperable information technology systems. Once we are confident in the answer that this is the most appropriate, effective and safe medication, then we can assess whether the patient is both willing and able to take the medication. That’s the right place for adherence to enter the discussion.

The stakes are high. In addition to the tragic human impact, $528 billion a year is wasted on non-optimized medication use, according to a study co-authored by my GTMRx Institute co-founder Terry McInnis, MD, MPH. To put this figure into perspective, let’s compare it to other statistics.

  • $594 billion — budget for Medicare in 2018
  • $509 billion — combined total of NIH budget over last 16 years (2002-2018)
  • $360 billion — all retail drug spending in the US in 2017
  • $297 billion — amount paid in corporate taxes in 2017
  • $59 billion — budget of the Department of Education in 2019

To be clear, the study did not say the total $528 billion would be saved, but we are certainly looking at a significant pocket of money that could be saved if CMM was broadly adopted. More importantly, behind almost every dollar is a patient receiving an inappropriate medication that may be causing harmful side effects or even death, and a well-intentioned provider who would never knowingly give the wrong medication.

We have to do better. Are you with us?

Individual membership is free, and we are proud to announce that more than 100 members have already signed up—but we need YOU! You will receive access to exclusive webinars, including our two kickoff presentations, “The $528 Billion Opportunity”  (1 p.m. EDT April 30) and “Acting on the $528 Billion Opportunity” (1 p.m. EDT May 14), as well as “Focus On” calls, our weekly news brief and upcoming issue briefs. Are YOU ready to help us save lives, save money, and when possible, restore health? Are YOU ready to help us Get the Medications Right? Become a member today!

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