Guide To Medication Management
The Need for Medication Management
Now is an important time in health care. With 75 percent of health care costs related to chronic conditions, appropriate use of medications combined with prevention and lifestyle changes can significantly improve the health of all Americans.
More than 3.5 billion prescriptions are written annually in the United States, and four out of five patients who visit a physician leave with at least one prescription. Medications are involved in 80 percent of all treatments and impact every aspect of a patient’s life.
Medication regimens are becoming very complex. Specialized patients have an average of five medical issues and take an average of eight medications. Drug-related illnesses and deaths cost this country almost $200 billion annually — more than the amount spent on the medications themselves.
According to the World Health Organization, adherence to therapy for chronic diseases in developed countries averages 50 percent, and the consequences of poor adherence to therapies are poor health outcomes and increased health care costs.
Prescribed medications and therapies work best when you, the patient, have a thorough understanding of all of your medications, and how they impact your health. Only with appropriate and optimal medication use will Americans see real quality of care improve and health care costs decrease.
What Is Medication Management?
A Medication Management program is an individually tailored set of coordinated services that ensures all your medications — prescription, non-prescription, traditional, alternative, vitamins, or nutritional supplements — are evaluated by your medical practitioners and pharmacist(s).
Your whole medical team will come to understand your personal medication experience and history — the actual use patterns of all your medications, your preferences, and your beliefs. The goal is to ensure that every medication you take is appropriate for you, effective for your medical conditions, safe, given your condition and the other medications you take, and provided in a form that you can conveniently take.
A medication management program includes an individualized care plan designed to achieve specific goals. It includes personalized education and appropriate follow-up to determine your results. This can only work when you understand, agree with, and actively participate in your treatment program.
You and your practitioners should know if:
- Your medications are appropriate for your medical conditions
- You have an indication for a condition that is not being treated or prevented
- The most effective drugs are being used for your medical conditions
- The doses you are taking are appropriate and able to achieve the intended goals
- Your doses are so high that they could potentially cause toxicity
- You are experiencing an adverse event from your medications
- You are able and willing to take the medications as intended
Follow-up evaluations are critical to determine the effects of changes, to reassess actual outcomes, and to recommend further changes to achieve desired results.
Principles and Benefits of Medication Management
This table shows how you and your medical team benefit from following the principles of Medication Management.
With a Medication Management program in place and with your pharmacists involved in managing your drug therapies, your physicians will be able to dedicate more time to diagnosis and treatment selection, and pay more attention to delivering the expert medical care you deserve. You will benefit from increased individualized attention to medications, the role they play in your daily life, and ultimately in improved outcomes. When the medications you take are safe, appropriate, and effective for you and your medical problems, and used as intended, you stay out of the hospital. And that is a successful outcome!
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Next time you visit the pharmacy, ask one of our professionals about what Medication Management services might be best for you.
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