Peace champions Medication Therapy Management budget language for state employees
Central Virginia- The Virginia General Assembly's biennial budget includes language, patroned by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R - Hanover), which paves the way for a cost-saving Medication Therapy Management health care benefit for state employees. The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management will develop a proposal for programming to be reviewed by the General Assembly in 2013.
Speaking to the budget language, Peace asserted, "Assuring our dedicated and hard working state employees access to quality and affordable healthcare, including needed medications, while passing a cost saving along to the employees and taxpayers, is important to me."
Medication Therapy Management is collaboration between pharmacists, physicians, and patients to help ensure that patients are taking the right medication, in the right dosage, at the right time. MTM allows pharmacists to spend more time counseling patients, physicians to perform periodic chart reviews to ensure effective drug regimens, and patients to receive additional education about how best to manage their chronic conditions.
Medication Therapy Management services have demonstrated proven cost-savings across the country while simultaneously improving the quality of patient care. Medication Therapy Management pilot programs have been instituted successfully in North Carolina, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota.
In Iowa, a pharmacist provided Medication Therapy Management Program for state employees generated $2.5 Million in cost savings or avoidance in the first six-months of the program. During that time period, Iowa realized $760,000 in drug product cost savings. Per patient, Iowa is saving $731 per year as a result of Medication Therapy Management services. In Minnesota, a pharmacist provided Medication Therapy Management program demonstrated cost savings of more than $400 per diabetes patient per year.
Independent pharmacists in Virginia hailed the news. Pharmacist Tommy Thompson, owner of independent Mechanicsville Pharmacy, observed: "This is a real opportunity for state employees to take advantage of using their local pharmacy in order to improve their chronic health conditions. There simply is no substitute for the relationship local pharmacists have with their patients and treating physicians. Medication Therapy Management will be a valuable added benefit to state employees. This is great work by Delegate Peace."
EPIC Pharmacies, a nationwide network of independent pharmacies, advocated in support of Delegate Peace's Medication Therapy Management initiative. EPIC Pharmacies President Angelo Voxakis noted "I applaud Delegate Peace and the Virginia General Assembly for their leadership and commitment to Virginia's independent pharmacies and to the health of Virginia's state employees. Through care coordination initiatives like this, patients win, community pharmacists win, and the taxpayer wins."
Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his fourth term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.