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Two members of Congress urge support for MTM Benefits Act

Two U.S. congressional representatives recently urged other members of the House of Representatives to support the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011.

H.R. 891, which would increase pharmacist-administered medication therapy management (MTM) services for patients, was introduced by Reps. Mike Ross (D-Ala.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) last year.

The bill has 42 bi-partisan co-sponsors, and Ross and McMorris Rodgers are urging other representatives to come on board. “This bi-partisan bill will improve medication use and save money by strengthening the MTM benefit in the Medicare prescription drug program,” the 2 representatives wrote.

The bill would expand the pool of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who can qualify for MTM provided by a licensed pharmacist to any patient with a chronic medical condition, instead of just those suffering from multiple chronic conditions.

The bill will help improve medication adherence and reduce healthcare costs in the United States, Ross and Rodgers wrote.

“Spending on prescription medicine in the U.S. amounts to $301 billion annually or about 10 percent of total health costs. Remarkably, almost an equal amount – $290 billion – is spent dealing with the medical consequences of people not taking their drugs correctly. This is unacceptable,” the legislators wrote.

Drug shortages have resulted in higher acquisition costs for pharmacies and the inability to fill prescriptions, according to a new survey, and the National Community Pharmacists Association conveyed that message to Congress.

Matthew Murawski, PharmD, has a new tool to help catch potential medication interactions before they happen: an iPad.

More patients pick up their first prescription when it’s sent to the pharmacy electronically than when it’s given to the patient on paper, according to the results of a study conducted by an e-prescribing network.

CVS/pharmacy is planning 1,000 health-screening events across the country this year, as part of its new multicultural Project Health program.

Target will allow individual pharmacy owners in Canada to own pharmacies within the company’s stores, departing from its policy in the United States, the company said