Magazine article Drug Topics

Iowa Pharmacies to Launch Cognitive Services Experiment

Magazine article Drug Topics

Iowa Pharmacies to Launch Cognitive Services Experiment

Article excerpt

Iowa has decided to do something about the cry for research to prove the value of pharmacists' cognitive services as a managed care offering.

As of the beginning of May, 200 Iowa-based pharmacies will be participating in a three-year research project to assess the value of pharmacists' use of on-line drug utilization reviews (DURs) to intervene in Medicaid patients' drug therapy. Financed by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the project is being conducted in cooperation with the Iowa state department of human services, Unisys Corp., the University of Iowa, the Iowa Pharmacists Association, Drake University, and National Data Corp.

"Our demonstration project is looking at the efficiency and effectiveness of on-line prospective drug utilization review, or OPDUR. As part of that assessment, we're looking at the effect it has by looking at pharmacists' cognitive services," explained Mary Beth Zieglowsky, project coordinator, who is based at the research office at the University of Iowa.

National Data Corp. has licensed its own DUR system, called Pro-DUR, for use in the Iowa program. ProDUR will be managed for the program by Unisys Government Services. The system enables pharmacists to screen for their Medicaid patients such potential drug therapy problems as drug-drug interactions, therapeutic overlaps, the overuse of drugs, and dosages.

"Other states are using on-line prospective drug utilization review, but where we think our project is unique is in the design of the program," Zieglowsky said. The DUR software is especially advanced in its development, she added.

In the experiment, 100 pharmacies are receiving on-line DUR information to help them in counseling their Medicaid patients. …

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