Magazine article Drug Topics

R.Ph.S Can Prove Value of Implementing Drug Protocols

Magazine article Drug Topics

R.Ph.S Can Prove Value of Implementing Drug Protocols

Article excerpt

There's a need for community pharmacists to participate in the development and implementation of drug therapy protocols. Not only is there a need, but there's value in this effort, and it could mean significant payment from managed care organizations (MCOs) for pharmacists' cognitive services.

That was the word from Jim Notaro, director of managed care programs, research and development, Pharmacy Services Corp. of New York (PSCNY). Notaro is also assistant professor at Albany College of Pharmacy and the president of Buffalo Clinical Services-three independent pharmacies based in Buffalo, N.Y.

Notaro spoke recently at the Northeast Pharmaceutical Conference held in Albany, N.Y. He argued that any expectation for MCOs to pay pharmacists for cognitive services hinges on whether pharmacists can prove that their services provide true value to MCOs. To do this, pharmacists must become their own outcomes researchers as they provide, document, and analyze the effect of their cognitive services.

This is not pie-in-the-sky talk, he insisted. Notaro said he has effectively conducted outcomes research based on drug therapy protocols he's developed and implemented in one of his own pharmacies.

In the case of hypertension drug therapy, Notaro said he has set up a program to increase compliance for patients with high blood pressure who get their prescriptions filled at his pharmacy. When the time comes for these patients to get their antihypertensive Rx refilled, the pharmacy gives them a reminder call. When the patient appears, the medication is ready to be picked up.

During the time the patient would otherwise stand in line to get the prescription filled, a pharmacist monitors the patient's blood pressure. The R.Ph. also talks with the patient about his or her progress in terms of compliance and actually reducing blood pressure. And both the blood pressure reading and counseling session are documented. …

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