Pharmacy Principles for Healthcare Reform

Several pharmacy groups have put out their principles for healthcare reform:

“Proper use of prescription medications helps improve quality of life and health outcomes. How ever, the health care system incurs more than $ 177 billion annually in mostly avoidable health care costs to treat adverse events from inappropriate medication use. T he proper use of medication becomes even more important as treatment of chronic disease costs the health care system $ 1.3 trillion annually, or about 7 5 cents of every health care dollar.”

The document goes on to talk about the importance of pharmacists in managing chronic diseases and helping patients.  A role that I completely support although I question the bandwidth of the pharmacists to do this given the massive shortage in the US.

The Principles are:

  1. Improve Quality and Safety of Medication Use
  2. Assure Patient Access to Needed Medications and Pharmacy Services
  3. Promote Pharmacy and Health Information Technology Interoperability

They are kind of like “No Child Left Behind” in that you can’t argue with the concepts.  At first read, the only thing that raised an eyebrow for me was some of the language around Principle 2.  I could interpret it to be a subtle play against some of the trend management tools that the PBMs use to help control prescription costs – e.g., mail order pharmacies.

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