Kerr Drug supports Sen. Hagan's MTM legislation

RALEIGH, N.C. — Two pharmacy trade groups already have given their blessings to legislation that would support medication therapy management, and a retail pharmacy chain that has made MTM part of its mission is following suit.

Kerr Drug announced its support for the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011, which Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., recently introduced. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association endorsed the bill last week.

Speaking before the Senate Thursday, Hagan argued that medication therapy management services could reduce healthcare costs, which already have climbed to about $290 billion.

“We have proven MTM programs in North Carolina with Medicare seniors and employers that save upwards of $8 for every dollar invested in the program,” Kerr Drug VP pharmacy and government relations Mark Gregory said. “[MTM] programs have strengthened the patient and pharmacist relationship, and in many cases have afforded patients a better quality of life.”

Medication therapy management involves pharmacists taking an active role in management of patients’ health care, reviewing medication regimens for interactions, looking for generic alternatives and advising patients on how to take their medications. It first received official recognition with the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003.

“The most effective and cost-effective way to ensure seniors take their medication properly is through the counseling of a pharmacist,” Kerr Drug CEO Tony Civello said. “The evidence shows pharmacists can improve patient health and save healthcare dollars because pharmacists are often the most accessible healthcare provider for patients.”