Nearly everyone has a story about a grandparent or elderly parent who took a wrong drug, wrong dosage, or was affected by a combination of drugs. In fact, studies show the average American is ten times more likely to be hospitalized from an adverse drug reaction than from a motor vehicle accident. Nearly 11 percent of hospital admissions in older adults are associated with adverse drug reactions. Improper medication use has been estimated to cost our nation $177 billion annually in total direct and indirect health care costs.
Medication use is often essential in the treatment of chronic disease. Modern drug therapy can save lives; however, potential benefits can decrease over time and drugs can have adverse effects when not used properly.
Medication Therapy Management (MTM) decreases the occurrence and severity of such adverse drug events. Through a comprehensive review of all medications, including over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbal remedies, pharmacists can identify potential drug therapy problems before serious issues arise.
Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services (PRHHS) is now offering Medication Therapy Management through its partnership with Lake Region Healthcare, which is a recipient of a Minnesota Department of Human Services Community Services Development grant.
Lake Region Healthcare clinic in Fergus Falls and Prairie Ridge’s clinic in Elbow Lake will be equipped with “Tele-carts” allowing patients to partake in MTM with a pharmacist located in another clinic. This grant also allows pharmacists to conduct MTM visits in patients’s homes located within 10 miles of Fergus Falls, or any facility in Otter Tail or Grant countys that houses four or more patients, such as assisted living, boarding care homes, supervised living facilities, or board and lodging facilities.
Mark Dewey, Pharm. D., CGP, FASCP and member of the MTM pharmacy team said nowadays, when patients are often treated by different doctors for different conditions, the doctors don’t talk to each other, and drug problems can arise.
“When we complete a MTM session with a patient, we often find the patient is able to get rid of some of the bottles in their medicine cabinet,” he said. “And that is a good thing.”
When you meet one-on-one with the pharmacist, he or she will look at the following:
*Drug-condition interactions (Does any of your drug therapy adversely affect your other medical conditions?)
*Unnecessary therapy (Are you taking drugs that you no longer need?)
*Missing drug therapy (Is there a prescription or other medication missing from your daily regimen?)
*Compliance issues (Are you having problems taking your medications the way your doctor intended?)
*Proper monitoring of drug therapy (Are you having labs and other follow-up you need to make sure your drug therapy is safe and effective?)
*Therapeutic duplication (Are you on more than one medication that works the same way?)
*Potential cost savings when appropriate (Are you aware that in some cases, another drug with the same ability to treat your condition but with a lower price tag may be available?)
After assessing your medications, the pharmacist will give you a sheet of written recommendations. A formal letter of recommendations will be mailed to you and your primary health care provider.
Since many health care plans recognize the value of medication therapy management and cover this service, your insurance company will be billed.Call Renae Lien at Prairie Ridge to get the ball rolling. She can be reached at 218-685-7376.