LTC R.Ph.S Positioned to Manage 'True' Cost of Drug Therapy

By Rodgers, Katie | Drug Topics, June 10, 1996 | Go to article overview

LTC R.Ph.S Positioned to Manage 'True' Cost of Drug Therapy


Rodgers, Katie, Drug Topics


Long-term care pharmacists who want to succeed in the era of capitation and prospective payments will need to teach their clients a new equation for figuring out the cost of drug therapy. That's the message Tim Webster, executive director, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, sent out at the organization's midyear meeting in Marco Beach, Fla., in May.

"Recognize that when nursing homes are paid a capitated rate or a prospective pay rate, it will be inclusive of drugs," Webster said. "At that point in time, drugs become a cost center for the facility, and the minute that happens, their vision of what you provide will change. You provide a cost to that facility, and they will look to you to manage that cost."

Webster said that at first, the long-term care facilities will probably be looking for reductions in the price of drug products. "But I reckon that very quickly they will recognize that the true cost of drugs isn't just the price of the product but also the price of therapeutic failures and adverse consequences," he said. Webster noted that today, the cost of drug therapy is presumed to be equal to the product cost plus distribution cost (i.e., dispensing fee) times utilization. But Webster said the people who are thinking ahead clearly recognize that if they buy the wrong drug, it may not achieve the therapeutic objective, or there may be adverse consequences or other drugrelated problems that require another health-care intervention. "So all of a sudden, they are starting to understand that true total drug cost is inclusive of two very expensive components: therapeutic failure and adverse drug reactions. …

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