Healthy Skepticism
Join us to help reduce harm from misleading health information.
Increase font size   Decrease font size   Print-friendly view   Print
Register Log in

Healthy Skepticism Library item: 16918

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: news

Medco, State of Illinois and Community Retail Pharmacies Launch 'Wired' Collaborative Solution
FierceBiotech 2009 Dec 9


Medco, State of Illinois and Community Retail Pharmacies Launch ‘Wired’ Collaborative Solution to Close Critical Medication-Related Gaps in Healthcare, Improving Outcomes and Lowering Costs

Trail-blazing study to enlist specially trained community pharmacists in closing medication-related gaps in care for Illinois state employees with chronic conditions

Full text:

Uniting the world’s most advanced pharmacy with local community-based pharmacies, government employees and university-based research teams utilizing a coordinated and “wired” approach to close medication-related gaps in healthcare may represent the most innovative partnership of its kind.

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today announced a collaboration that includes the State of Illinois, the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA), the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy and Mirixa Corporation to determine the effectiveness of training community pharmacies using an advanced networked safety system to identify medication-related issues and provide clinical interventions to improve patient health outcomes and lower costs.

“This large-scale study tests, under actual field conditions, several vital aspects of real healthcare reform. It transforms traditional competitors into collaborators; creates a partnership across private business, public employers and research institutions; and leverages advanced technology using evidence-based protocols to efficiently identify and effectively close gaps in care for patients who are suffering chronic and complex conditions – patients who account for 96 percent of all drug costs and 75 percent of all medical spending,” said Kenny Klepper, Medco president and chief operating officer.

Medco, which manages pharmacy benefits for the state of Illinois’ employees, retirees and their families, will as part of its administration of the state’s pharmacy plan identify patients that may not be following their doctor’s orders related to prescribed medications or have not been prescribed essential medicines for treatment in four widespread therapeutic categories: cardiovascular, diabetes, pulmonary and neuroscience.
The UIC College of Pharmacy will provide specialized clinical training and guidance to as many as 100 community pharmacists on the most effective means to identify and address underlying patient barriers to close these clinical gaps. Medco-developed alerts, delivered through MirixaPro(SM), will be transmitted in real-time to community pharmacies in a secured, wired system. The 26-week study will track the success of these pharmacists to close gaps by counseling patients and coordinating care with physicians.

“Medco research revealed more than 25,000 of our state employees and their dependents with chronic or complex conditions may not be taking all the medicines they need to stay healthy or following their doctor’s instructions. Medicines that aren’t taken can’t be effective — placing our employees’ health at risk, and unnecessarily burdening Illinois taxpayers with higher medical costs,” said Gov. Pat Quinn. “I am proud that we are leading the country in an organized effort to prove that innovation, collaboration and clinical excellence drives true healthcare reform by delivering better health outcomes at lower costs.”

Added Michael Minesinger, RPh., J.D., Chairman, Illinois Pharmacists Association: “This initiative recognizes the value provided by community pharmacists across Illinois and creates an opportunity to set a new standard for high-quality, personalized patient care. It will also allow pharmacists to be compensated appropriately, for providing these value-added clinical services, and we encourage all community pharmacies to participate.”

Medco will analyze prescription drug records daily to identify patients with potential adherence and omission gaps. The company will transmit electronic alerts via MirixaPro to trained community pharmacists when potential adherence gaps or omissions are identified — for example, when a patient at a high risk for a heart attack isn’t taking their cholesterol medication in accordance with evidence-based standards.

The Critical Clinical Imperative
A national survey released earlier this year found that 54 percent of Americans do not adhere to their medication regimen. This accelerates disease progression and complications, and reduces functional abilities, lowers the quality of life or leads to premature death. Avoidable healthcare spending directly related to non-adherence costs approximately $290 billion annually, according to a recent study by the New England Healthcare Institute.

For the targeted Illinois patient population participating in this study, adherence to oral diabetes medication, blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication create a significant opportunity for savings if gaps are closed effectively through pharmacist counseling. Additional savings will primarily be associated with improvements in adherence for anti-platelet and anti-seizure medications.
Approximately 50 percent of the cost of the study is directed to UIC’s community pharmacist training program and pharmacists’ counseling fees. The partners estimate millions of dollars in savings are possible related to lower medical expenses as member compliance with chronic drug therapies improves.

“Medco’s aim is to improve total healthcare outcomes for its members across the country whether they use the Medco Pharmacy with our specialist pharmacists, or one of our partnering community pharmacies with trained pharmacists guided by Medco clinical alerts. We are proud to share our expertise, enabled by our proprietary technology to raise the standard of care. We believe this initiative is a model example of true healthcare reform,” Klepper added.


  Healthy Skepticism on RSS   Healthy Skepticism on Facebook   Healthy Skepticism on Twitter

Click to Register

(read more)

Click to Log in
for free access to more features of this website.

Forgot your username or password?

You are invited to
apply for membership
of Healthy Skepticism,
if you support our aims.

Pay a subscription

Support our work with a donation

Buy Healthy Skepticism T Shirts

If there is something you don't like, please tell us. If you like our work, please tell others.

Email a Friend