September 22, 2017
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 role of the HIV pharmacist is critical in effective patient adherence, monitoring drug–drug interactions and managing adverse reactions,” Michelle Sherman, RPh, president of MichRx Pharmacist Consulting Services, Inc, wrote in her presentation.
“The pharmacist is an important member of the patient’s health care team, being a pivotal link in the HIV continuum of care. Effective pharmacist consultation programs identify key problems with HIV drug therapy and comorbidities, over-the-counter medications, supplements, and illicit drug use.”
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 an one avoided death during the study period.
“[Pharmacist consultation] has resulted in improved adherence, improved understanding of medications, linkage to care, improved access to medications, improved adherence, improved outcomes, and improved quality of life,” Dr Sherman concluded. “The Ubuntu Pharmacist Care Program has played a significant role in major patient interventions and outcomes.”