Often, patients need help understanding why they need certain medicines, how to take them, or what they can do to improve their health. Getting help from a pharmacist or other health care professional can make it easier to follow your doctor’s prescriptions and minimize medication side effects.
Medication therapy management (MTM) is a process in which a patient’s medication regimen is optimized to achieve the desired therapeutic outcomes for that person. However, despite the existence of many services that focus on medication optimization, there are still some challenges associated with the delivery of MTM in pharmacy practice.
Medications are chemicals or compounds that help people cure, prevent, ease symptoms, or diagnose illnesses. They come in two types: prescription medicines, which you can get only by a doctor’s order, and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, which you can buy without a prescription.
Medicines can be beneficial when they are used correctly. However, if they are not taken as prescribed, medications can cause harmful side effects. They can also be addictive.
Medication therapy management is a process that includes pharmacist-provided clinical services that optimize medication outcomes and patient safety. It entails a systematic process of gathering patient-specific data, evaluating medication therapies to spot medication-related issues, creating a prioritized list of medication-related problems, and coming up with a plan to address them.
It also includes patient education and counseling, teaching patients how to take their medications safely and effectively. It includes reviewing their current medication regimens to help them understand why they need to take each medication, how to refill their prescriptions, and how to avoid drug interactions.
Managing their medications is especially important for patients with chronic health conditions or multiple medical issues. It can help reduce costs and improve health outcomes. It can also reduce the risk of dangerous side effects and drug abuse. It can also help patients avoid costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations. With built-in clinical intelligence and population health tools, manage all your patients in one location to promote better results at a lower cost. You can integrate electronic health records with experts like DocStation.
Adherence to medication therapy management is critical in chronic disease management, as it can improve health outcomes, reduce morbidity and mortality, and decrease healthcare costs. Yet, medication non-adherence is a serious issue worldwide that results in suboptimal outcomes and increased healthcare costs, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Patients may choose not to take their medications as prescribed for various reasons. Some of these reasons include patient mistrust or fear, and others involve patient beliefs or perceptions about the side effects of medication.
There are many ways to improve adherence to medication, including enhancing the patient’s understanding of their treatment regimen and how it benefits them. This can be done through counseling and sometimes with the help of medication therapy management (MTM) techniques such as motivational interviewing.
Another effective way to increase adherence is to ensure the medication regimen is simple and easy for patients to understand. This includes using pill boxes and blister packs, which make it easier for patients to remember their daily dosages.
Moreover, clinicians should be aware of the root causes of non-adherence and use cost-effective approaches that apply to diverse patient populations. They should also be familiar with tools and technology that can help them track non-adherence trends and address them before they become a problem.
Medicines can improve our lives by helping us feel better, fight disease, and control illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes. However, drugs also have side effects that can make them less effective or cause problems.
These side effects can vary from person to person and can range in severity from minor to life-threatening. A drug’s side effects can be related to its chemical structure, dosage, or interactions with other drugs and substances.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and itching or rash. Serious side effects can include seizures, liver damage, and death.
Certain medications can cause side effects that can be worse the higher the dose. For example, a standard pain medicine called acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause stomach upsets when taken at a high amount.
When taken at a high dose, a blood-thinning medication called warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) can sometimes cause internal bleeding.
While most of these side effects are not severe, they can lead to medical emergencies if they occur during or after surgery. Call your doctor immediately if you notice an uncomfortable side effect or changes in how you feel.
Pharmacists play a vital role in managing side effects to ensure patients can complete their physician’s prescribed regimen. They can advise patients on how their medications work, what side effects to look for, and the risk-benefit ratio of their regimen, and suggest alternative therapy when necessary.
Many things can affect your prescription drug costs, including copayments and coinsurance. These can vary depending on your plan and the drugs you take.
You can lower your out-of-pocket costs with medication therapy management. We offer you this service at no price with HealthPartners Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage.
Your medications are reviewed by a clinical pharmacist who is trained to help you make sure they’re working effectively for you. This can help you avoid side effects and other negative interactions, which can help you get the most out of your medication therapy.
A new study estimates that non-optimized medication therapy has an annual cost of $528.4 billion, equivalent to 16 percent of U.S. healthcare expenditures in 2016.
The study examined quadruple therapy with angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) or sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) and regimens excluding ARNI or SGLT2i in all 4,068 Medicare prescription drug plans in 2020. The study also examined cost sharing, prior authorization, and step therapy.
The study found that the average 30-day out-of-pocket (OOP) cost of quadruple therapy was $94 per month, while OOP costs for regimens excluding ARNI or a regimen containing SGLT2i were $73 and $43 per month, respectively. The researchers say this is a high out-of-pocket cost and could be avoided using better coding and tracking systems.