(February, 2011) – Raleigh, NC – Kerr Drug is voicing support for the introduction by U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D) N.C. of the MTM Empowerment Act, calling the legislation a way to improve patient care and control health care costs. The bill would expand medication therapy management (MTM) coverage to any senior suffering from any chronic condition that accounts for high spending in the health care system. Hagan is one of three co-sponsors of the legislation in the Senate. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We have proven MTM programs in North Carolina with Medicare seniors and employers that save upwards of eight dollars for every dollar invested in the program," says Mark Gregory, Vice President of Pharmacy and Government Relations for Kerr Drug. "Medication therapy management programs have strengthened the patient and pharmacist relationship and in many cases have afforded patient's a better quality of life."
Medication therapy management involves pharmacists helping patients manage their health care, reviewing medications for drug interactions and the availability of less expensive generics and advising patients on how to take their medications.
While Medication Therapy Management was officially recognized in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, the MTM Empowerment Act is modeled after the ChecKmeds NC program for seniors, which was created by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund. ChecKmeds NC utilizes a network of 500 community and retail pharmacists who, through the end of June 2010, served 31,191 patients. The estimated cost savings for services to all seniors from the start of the program is $34 million, a return ratio of 13.78:1. Kerr Drug alone just exceeded the $10 million dollars estimated cost avoidance for 2010.
"The most effective and cost efficient way to ensure seniors take their medication properly is through the counseling of a pharmacist," adds Anthony "Tony" Civello, CEO of Kerr Drug. "The evidence shows pharmacists can improve patient health and save health care dollars because pharmacists are often the most accessible health care provider for patients."
Gregory adds with an aging population comes the need to better manage chronic health conditions and the cost associated with those treatments. A recent analysis by the New England Healthcare Institute estimates 13% of total healthcare expenditures may be due to patients not taking their medication properly.
About Kerr Drug
Kerr Drug is one of the most recognized and respected names in the chain drug industry. With its roots in the Carolinas and headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., Kerr Drug's strategic direction is founded in its unique ability to provide patients, the medical community, and health plans access to the most comprehensive and convenient health and wellness offering in the industry. With a mission to be the most comprehensive provider of pharmacy and related healthcare services, while continuing to be the most reliable provider of health-related and convenience items, Kerr is currently providing services that far exceed the traditional drug store mix. For more information, please visit www.kerrdrug.com.