Magazine article Drug Topics

Don't Blame R.Ph.S for Higher Costs, They're Willing to Help

Magazine article Drug Topics

Don't Blame R.Ph.S for Higher Costs, They're Willing to Help

Article excerpt

In the past two years, the number of Medicaid enrollees in New Mexico jumped by 51%. Now, the state faces budget shortfalls for the fiscal year just ended of $14 million and perhaps $32 million for the current one. So, who's to blame? Community pharmacists, of course.

Not really, but that's the way many of them feel since one of the state's responses to the crunch is its apparent determination to put the drug benefit out for bid and limit access to pharmacies. The New Mexico Pharmaceutical Association is trying to block the state's move toward capitation, while at the same time offering practical solutions to reduce costs and improve quality care.

"Pharmacists can be an integral part of managing patient care," NMPhA executive director Dale Tinker told state officials. "Therapy management is one of the things pharmacists can do that has demonstrated savings to the entire health-care system." Tinker suggested creating a P&T committee for use with the DUR program, increased focus on generic substitution, payment for pharmacist interventions that demonstrate savings, and coverage for OTCs when they are an appropriate early intervention recommended by a pharmacist.

Starter doses

Hospital pharmacists, physician assistants, and registered professional nurses now can order, receive, and dispense complimentary Rx starter doses for noncontrolled substances under a new Michigan law. …

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