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Practice Transformation

Doctors still the go-to source for all ages
The generational divide may not be as wide as one would expect when it comes to health information, according to CMI Media Group’s Media Vitals annual report. Consumers of all ages put more trust in health websites than in the past. Branded websites saw the biggest trust gains across all age groups, especially among millennials. The doctor’s office, however, remains the go-to source for health information across all age groups. However, older consumers are more likely to say they follow their doctors’ orders; younger ones are more likely to supplement information they get from providers with their own research. (FiercePharmareport)
Digital therapeutics show promise for opioid use disorder
A real-world study of digital therapeutics (DTx) for opioid use disorder (OUD) found that patients who used it had 46% fewer hospital stays than the control group, saving an average of $2,708 per person over nine months. Prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) are software-based treatments FDA-authorized to improve clinical outcomes for diseases and conditions. The study involved a 12-week PDT. The use of buprenorphine to wean users off opioids was roughly the same in both groups, reinforcing that the difference in costs was a result of the DTx, according to the researchers. (ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes ResearchPharmaphorum)

Evidence & Innovation

Trusted healers turn the vaccination tide in Philly
After a slow start, Philadelphia has one of the highest Black vaccination rates in a major U.S. city: 54%. Much of the credit goes to the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, a group of 50 Black health care professionals, that helped turned vaccination rates around. Doctors fanned out into hard-hit neighborhoods citywide, initially using their mobile unit to test residents. As demand grew, they worked with community leaders to set up testing sites in churches and community centers. They also conducted general health checkups, treating any ailments they could. (Bloomberg)
Video game helps identify drug fraud
A new video game helps hospitals and pharmacies identify shoddy drugs. Professor and entrepreneur, Robert Lodder, PhD, of the University of Kentucky’s School of Pharmacy, turned his passion for gaming into a tool to identify defective and dangerous drugs, Bloomberg reports. With Heather Campbell, an engineer in the pharmaceutical industry, Lodder is creating a video game to help hospitals and pharmacies ferret out fraud. The game, still in development, has already revealed that some pharmaceutical companies may be skimping on active ingredients to save money. (Bloomberg)
Patient safety a casualty of COVID-19
Hospital safety suffered in 2020, according to analysis from Press Ganey. Among the particular areas of concern: increased patient falls, central line-associated bloodstream infections and stage-two hospital-acquired pressure injuries. “These increases in patient harm … emphasize the effects of an industry under the immense pressure of battling a sustained crisis,” Tejal Gandhi, MD, chief safety and transformation officer at Press Ganey, said in a statement. “However, the industry’s zero harm goal cannot be put on hold until after the pandemic has passed.” (Fierce Healthcare)

Policy Solutions

HHS to include PCPs in overdose-curbing effort
HHS has launched its Overdose Prevention Strategy. It focuses on primary prevention, harm reduction, evidence-based treatment and recovery support. It includes a role for primary care: “A major opportunity to enhance access to evidence-based treatment is the potential improvement of the integration of [substance use disorder] treatment with primary care and specialty mental health care,” according to the announcement. (MedPage Today*; HHS overdose prevention site)
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In Case You Missed It!

ICYMI | New Issue Brief: More than a theory: Putting CMM in practice 
We need a better way to manage medications. Medicine is the main way we treat illness, but it’s also the source of avoidable misery.
Health care delivery has long been fragmented, and the growing shortage of primary care clinicians is compounding the problem. There is also a lack of communication. “We have not closed the feedback loop between specialists, primary care providers and pharmacists relating to medication use.” Adding to the problem is the aging population. More people are living longer. They have chronic diseases, and they’re taking more medications. This alone adds so much complexity to one’s ability to manage medications. At the same time, more medicines are available to take, and prescription drug costs are rising. Read on for more.
CMM IN ACTION | GTMRx Use Case: Medication Optimization Use Case–Minnesota Health Fairview: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Learn how expert practices, such as Minnesota Health Fairview, have implemented successful programs designed to optimize medication use. This case focuses on delivery of services and offers insight into the programs’ impact on outcomes, clinician satisfaction, cost savings and patient satisfaction. Also included are details about program size and success factors.. Developed by the Best Practices and Innovative Solutions Subgroup of the Practice and Care Delivery Transformation Workgroup.
In this episode, Dr. Thomas Mattras, the director of operations in the Office of Primary Care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, joins GTMRx executive director, Katherine H. Capps, to talk about personalized, proactive, patient-centered care; how to encourage physicians to utilize clinical pharmacists in their practice; and shares patient success stories from CMM services.
Listen here.

Advocacy in Action
GTMRx is pleased to announce that we have launched our Advocacy Letters and Policy Documents page on the GTMRx website. Advocacy is a core component of the GTMRx Institute’s mission, and our policy positions are aimed at advancing acceptance and recognition of the importance of creating a systematic, evidence-based approach to medications and their rational use through CMM in practice. To advance our efforts, comments are submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), members of Congress, the Administration, and other public sector payers (OPM) as appropriate.

This toolkit explores the benefits of CMM for individuals and for the employers who pay for benefits. Research published in March 2018 reveals the waste to the system when the wrong drugs are prescribed, drugs are skipped or drugs make people sicker which in turn leads to an estimated 275,689 deaths per year. In financial terms, there’s also a $528 billion price tag attributed to non-optimized medication use. This toolkit was developed with guidance and support from the GTMRx Employer Toolkit Taskforce.
Use this toolkit to work with your:
  • Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)
  • Medical carriers
  • Benefit consultants
  • Solution providers (PGx, others)
  • Employees
Read the report here.
Additional resources:
  • FAQs for employers as health plan sponsors here.
  • PGx insight for Employers here.
Join us to be part of meaningful change
Irma, like many others, struggles as a result of our current trial-and-error approach to medication. That is why we advocate for a new, comprehensive approach to medication use and prescribing. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization, the GTMRx Institute and Foundation relies on funding from our supporting members. We ask that you consider becoming a Supporting Signing Member so we can continue to provide relevant, timely resources to get the medications right!
If you’re interested in supporting the Institute or Foundation at a higher level, please contact us. Your dollars will bring about meaningful change for people like Irma.

Become a Supporting Member Today

AmazonSmile is an easy way for 0.5% of your qualified purchases go to the GTMRx Foundation at no cost to you. And signing up is simple—go to and select “Get the Medications Right Foundation” as your charity of choice. If you prefer to directly donate instead, you can do so here.
Adding the foundation on AmazonSmile will help us continue to provide no cost educational webinars, issue briefs, weekly news briefs and promote the need for transformation of our current system of medication use through social media campaigns.
The GTMRx Institute is supported by our Founding Funders, Executive Members and Strategic Partners.
  See past issues of our weekly news brief here

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