Additional use of technology and pharmacists to help reduce interactions and errors relative to prescriptions...a 2nd set of eyes for the physician and especially helpful if more than one MD is writing prescriptions for the same patient..BD
The latest, possibly largest program was to be launched Tuesday by Medco Health Solutions Inc., a pharmacy benefit manager serving 60 million people. The Franklin Lakes-based company has trained 700 pharmacists so far, each on one of seven complex, chronic conditions, and set up a resource center for each condition at its mail order pharmacies.
WellPoint Inc., the biggest U.S. insurer, said it is starting such a service in-house, covering 14 different complex illnesses.
One is diver Greg Louganis, who has been HIV-positive for two decades. When his doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory medicine recently, Medco called him and the doctor to say that drug might interfere with the AIDS medicines he takes, Louganis said. The doctor agreed and made an adjustment.
Computers flag incoming prescriptions for patients with those conditions — such as diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases — for a specialty pharmacist to review them if necessary. The pharmacists look for dosing errors, interactions with other drugs, whether the patient isn't refilling prescriptions as directed, or if a new medication would be better. Patients can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week with questions, even about effects of nonprescription drugs.