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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Health Care Reform Legislation Would Expand Access To Pharmacist Patient Care Services

Legislation released June 9 by Health, Education, Labor Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy expand access to pharmacist-delivered medication therapy management ( for patients suffering from chronic diseases.

The Affordable Health Choices Act - not yet introduced in the Senate - would provide grants to expand opportunities for pharmacists to deliver MTM services through local community-based, multi-disciplinary health teams to patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The announcement was welcomed by a coalition of 14 national pharmacy organizations established to raise awareness about the human and financial costs of inappropriate medication use.

The U.S. healthcare system currently more than $177 billion annually in mostly avoidable health costs treat adverse drug events from the inappropriate use of medications. In addition, the treatment of chronic disease costs our health system $1.3 trillion annually - about 75 cents of every healthcare dollar.

MTM services provided by pharmacists, working with physicians and other healthcare providers, helps improve therapeutic outcomes, reduces medication errors drug events, enhances coordination of care, improves patients' overall quality of life, and reduces overall healthcare costs.

The pharmacy profession, encompassing all practice settings, applauds the Senate HELP Committee proposal for identifying the problems associated with inappropriate medication use and for recognizing the important role of pharmacists as providers of clinical care services that can improve the quality of patient care by focusing medication use and can contribute to reducing overall costs in the treatment of chronic diseases.

The coalition particularly recognizes the efforts of Senators Kennedy, (R-NH) and Mikulski (D-MD) who worked hard on behalf of patients to secure these important provisions.


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