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Pharmacist Consultation Improved HIV Outcomes, Adherence

A new medication therapy management and pharmacy consultation service, the Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program, helped to improve the continuum of care for patients with HIV, according to a presentation at the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting & Expo 2017.

“The aim of this study was to demonstrate the crucial role that HIV pharmacists play in the care of people living with HIV and to prove the value of pharmacist consultation services in an effort to show payers and CMS the value of these services in decreasing overall health care costs and showing positive outcomes and therefore a key piece of value-based care,” Michelle Sherman, RPh, president of MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services, Inc, told First Report Managed Care. “These consultation services should be paid for by CMS and payers and is way beyond what is expected in traditional MTM programs.” 

In order to measure the value of MTM and disease state management in HIV-infected patients along with the need for pharmacist reimbursement for consultation services, the researchers studied Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program pharmacists from January 2016 though June 2017. 

Researchers found that pharmacists had 257 face-to-face HIV-related patient consultations and 280 other contacts, such as meetings with physicians, nurses, case managers, other pharmacies, and payers during the study period. They found improved outcomes as a result of the pharmacist consultations, including improved health, improved quality of life, minimized drug-drug interactions, and a decrease in overall health care costs. 

Furthermore they concluded that the 471 pharmacist-applied interventions resulted in significant health benefits including one avoided death during the study period.

“The impact of these findings demonstrate that the clinical pharmacist has an essential role in health care and the value of consultation services such as the ones provided through Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program have a great impact on patient adherence, quality of life and the overall health of the patient,” Ms Sherman  concluded. “Payers must consider payment for pharmacist consultation services that are fair and reflect the magnitude of results obtained. Pharmacists throughout the United States should be recognized as health care providers, not just in certain states. The pharmacist is poised to fill gaps in the health care system and make a significant impact on nonadherence, drug-drug interactions, medication errors, and adverse reactions.”

David Costill

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