Another opportunity for pharmacist$

Reuters: “During the current study, 21 percent of the 1506 participants said they had previously not taken medications because of money concerns. Another 5 percent said they were worried they might not be able to pay for drugs.

The researchers, who published their results in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, considered both groups to be “at risk” of nonadherence with future prescriptions.

Looking at the responses to other questions on the survey, Rhodes and her team found that people were more likely to be at risk of nonadherence if they had money issues – for instance, they worried about money, didn’t have enough food, reported housing problems, and had inadequate health insurance. But they were also more likely to be at risk of nonadherence if they smoked, used illegal drugs, or experienced domestic violence, as either the victim or perpetrator.”

The study referred to in the article is from the March, 2011 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine1. According to the article “Risk for medication nonadherence due to cost concerns was identified in a quarter of nonemergent urban ED patients in our sample and was more likely to be reported by patients experiencing other economic and psychosocial risks. These findings indicate a need to include discussions about medication affordability and referrals to social services as part of ED discharge planning.”

Pharmacists are “drug experts” and are taught to evaluate drug therapy from many different angles, including the economic impact to both the healthcare system and the individual patient. I remember doing this for discharge patients at UCSF when I was in Pharmacy School. Finding medications that met the patients need, including being cost effective, was simply part of my job.

Just another opportunity for pharmacists to demonstrate their value.

  1. Mazer, M., Bisgaier, J., Dailey, E., Srivastava, K., McDermoth, M., Datner, E. and Rhodes, K. V. (2011), Risk for Cost-related Medication Nonadherence Among Emergency Department Patients. Academic Emergency Medicine, 18: 267–272.

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