It may be a straightforward name, but it stands for an incredibly important mission. The just-launched Get The Medications Right Institute (GTMRx) was formed to champion a solution for effective and appropriate use of medications. To do so, it’s bringing together passionate leaders from some of healthcare’s biggest names—including executives from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Services, Quest Diagnostics, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and Medecision. Our own CEO Deb Gage is among the individuals from these four founding organizations who are contributing their time, know-how and new ideas to this very worthy cause.
The timing is certainly right for this collaborative model. The FDA is approving new medications at a rapid pace, making prescribing more complex and driving up costs. In particular, new specialty medications and gene therapies are contributing to this trend. At the same time, care fragmentation is leading to excessive and avoidable pharmacy spending. There is still a distinct need to close the feedback loop between pharmacists, primary care providers and the specialists who prescribe many of today’s most expensive medications.
Co-Founder and President of GTMRx, Terry McInnis, believes that there is an opportunity to optimize medication use in our country through a focus on comprehensive medication management, in turn saving lives and healthcare dollars. With the national conversation growing louder around drug costs, Terry and her colleagues knew that the time was right for industry leaders to step up and be the source of this change.
According to a study co-authored by McInnis, $528 billion dollars a year, or 16 percent of total healthcare spending, is consumed due to non-optimized medication use. The same study shows that comprehensive medication management, as a potential solution to this challenge, is becoming more mainstream. Health systems, patients, physicians and payers are starting to better understand the value of advanced clinical pharmacy services and the importance of integrating these services collaboratively into community and ambulatory team-based care.
From Deb’s perspective, transparency and care team engagement should both be part of this conversation. Given that we’ve seen technology disrupt other industries in ways that increased access to information and ease of workflow, it’s clear that healthcare thought leaders need to seek a similar solution. Her philosophy is a core part of Medecision’s movement to liberate healthcare, by putting the power of actionable knowledge about medications, treatments and outcomes in the hands of consumers and their care teams. And in fact, Medecision is currently optimizing its medication management, adherence and transparency offerings to add greater value for health plans looking to tackle this dilemma.
The first major deliverable in development by GTMRx is a Blueprint for Change that will outline specific steps needed at the practice, payment and policy levels to make comprehensive medication management a reality. GTMRx has also scheduled two compelling events through its learning institute to raise awareness around this issue. If you’d like to play a role in tackling the clinical, technical or operational challenges that impact drug costs, register for the following:
- “The $528 Billion Opportunity” (1pm EST April 30) explores the evidence for comprehensive medication management. It will feature McInnis and study lead author Jonathan H. Watanabe, PharmD, MS, PhD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy, University of California San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
- “Acting on the $528 Billion Opportunity: Training to Advance Comprehensive Medication Management in Practice” (1pm EST May 14) delves into the team-based nature of comprehensive medication management and implications for education and training. It will feature McInnis and co-author Jan Hirsch, BS Pharm, PhD, director and school of pharmacy founding dean, University of California Irvine School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.