Take as directed: clinical pharmacy services provide personalized advice to pharmacists


How many times have you received a prescription at your local pharmacy or through your health plan’s mail order service, not knowing how to take your new medicine? Most of the time, they come with simple instructions on a label and pages of intimidating drug information and interaction warnings.

And sometimes the brief instructions on a bottle can be confusing. This is one of the reasons why about half of all adults do not take their prescription medications as directed. Here are some common reasons people donate:

* “I felt better so I stopped taking it.”

* ” I did not understand how to take it. ”

* “I didn’t like the side effects.”

* “I couldn’t afford the drugs.”

* ” I didn’t feel any better. I thought it was not working so I stopped taking it.

* “I cut the pill in half to save money.”

If you pick it up from a retail pharmacy, the pharmacist, who can routinely fill or supervise the filling of up to 400 prescriptions per day, has only a few minutes to explain how and when to take your prescription and explain the side effects. that you feel. could experiment. Your doctor, who can see up to 20 patients a day, only has a few minutes to talk about your prescriptions.

What if these prescriptions were accompanied by access to a pharmacist to help you understand how and when to take them, and whether taking them with or without food is best for you? As a healthcare system transformation initiative, PacificSource Community Solutions recently concluded a very successful pilot program that brought together patients and pharmacists from the Oregon Health Plan. PacificSource, headquartered in Bend, is the coordinated care organization serving OHP members in the central Oregon and Columbia Gorge regions. The CCO has partnered with Hood River-based MTMCare on a clinical pharmacy services program aimed at reducing drug-related health problems among OHP members.

“People don’t know what they don’t know,” says Nicole Schrankel, MTMCare co-founder and clinical manager. “Many patients don’t think about asking what symptoms their medications treat or what to do if they have side effects. We can prevent hospital visits by responding to people’s fears or questions about taking medication.

Although drug therapy management is a proven innovation in healthcare system transformation and preventative service, most primary care providers cannot afford to hire a full-time pharmacist. This is where MTMCare comes in. It has a national network of pharmacists who offer individual advice and targeted interventions to patients, by phone or face to face.

One of the things MTMCare can do is review the information from doctors and insurers to see if a patient has actually recovered their prescribed medications. “It’s rare for a provider to have both of these pieces of information about the same patient, but it gives a much more complete picture,” says Schrankel.

“By having this access, I found a patient who had not purchased a prescribed inhaler,” says Schrankel. This. I was able to consult the doctor and suggest an alternative dosage regimen where they would only be charged one only quota. “

MTMCare pharmacists serve approximately 10,000 Medicare, Commercial, and OHP patients each year. Schrankel, a graduate of Oregon State University and a PhD in Pharmacy from Idaho State University, says she is thrilled that MTMCare is improving the lives of patients and reducing healthcare costs for the people and organizations they care for. she serves.

“I am proud to be at the forefront of the movement to integrate pharmacists as part of the patient-centered, team-based approach to primary care,” she says. “The health plans recognize the management of drug therapy and clinical pharmacy services as a cost-effective way to help ensure that patients live longer and healthier lives.


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