Magazine article Drug Topics

Caremark Begins Test of Asthma Management Program

Magazine article Drug Topics

Caremark Begins Test of Asthma Management Program

Article excerpt

Take a deep breath. Think about the arrival of disease state management and how it will change the nature of pharmacy services, and consider that prescription drug manager Caremark International recently introduced a pilot program for asthma management. Now exhale.

In an interview with Drug Topics, Jim Bryant, president of Caremark's prescription service division, revealed that as of July 1 his company began educating about 2,500 enrollees who have asthma about how to control their condition better.

"It's the first [disease state management] program we've initiated. We're cutting our teeth on the whole process of this program," he said. The pilot stage of the program will continue until the end of the year, he added.

The bad news for community pharmacists is that in this pilot program, only staff pharmacists, physicians, and other centrally located personnel are the ones delivering the cognitive services. But another company official said it's possible that community pharmacists will play a role in future disease state management programs run by Caremark.

The goal of this program is to help the enrollees use their asthma-related medications properly to prevent the need for expensive emergency room and physician visits because of asthma attacks, Bryant explained.

Patients have enrolled in the program voluntarily, he continued. They were invited to participate as part of a nationwide sample of asthma patients enrolled in a Caremark-administered prescription benefit program. …

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