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Medication Therapy Management

Medication therapy management (MTM) is a comprehensive review of an individual’s medication regimen by a pharmacist or other healthcare providers.  The goal is to improve health outcomes and eliminate or minimize adverse drug events.  According to the American Pharmacist Association, MTM “include medication therapy reviews, pharmacotherapy consults, anticoagulation management, immunizations, health and wellness programs and many other clinical services” (n.d.)

Some of the questions people frequently ask are who benefits from these services and is it covered by insurance. Most people taking medications and supplements will benefit from MTM. The service is vital for people on multiple medications and managing chronic or multiple health conditions.  Examples include diabetes, individuals on blood thinners or managing depression, heart disease and more. These services are important because, “Medication-related problems are a significant public health issue within the healthcare system. Incidence estimates suggest that more than 1.5 million preventable medication related adverse events occur each year in the United States” (The American Pharmacists Association in 2008). Most insurance plans will pay for MTM. Also Medicare.gov states that seniors enrolled in “drug plan and take medications for different medical conditions, may be eligible to get services, at no cost” (n.d.)

The process requires the pharmacist to review medication list and medical conditions and make sure the list is updated and appropriate. The pharmacist provides action plans, recommendations, and referrals. The next step is a face-to-face or telephone conversation leading to optimal health. The immunization component of MTM has seen many successes. Access to immunization and updating immunization has improved. Pharmacist can identify and provide needed or missing vaccinations like pneumonia, shingles, and flu shots.

In conclusion, for our healthcare system to work effectively and efficiently, it requires highly trained healthcare professionals to be proactive, and engage and empower people on the path to healthy living. The role of the pharmacist is to keep the community up-to-date on immunizations, proper medication utilization, public wellness and prevention of drug related problems.

Article written byVila Boadu, PharmD, MBA with Scottsdale Pharmacy.  View Scottsdale Pharmacy’s listing on SeniorDirectory.com

References

The American Pharmacists Association (2008). Medication Therapy Management

American Pharmacists Association. (n.d.). What is medication therapy management? 

Medicare.gov (n.d.). Medication Therapy Management programs for complex health needs.  

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