AMCP Calls on HHS to Expand Role of Pharmacists

Comments Address Role of Pharmacists in Adverse Drug Events Prevention 

For Immediate Release 

Alexandria, Va., October 7, 2013 - The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) today called on the federal government to expand the role of pharmacists in providing primary care in Medicare and reducing adverse drug events. Its comments are contained in a letter to Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in response to the agency's draft National Plan for Adverse Drug Event (ADE) Prevention. 

In its letter AMCP, which solicited input from members and non-members in preparing its response, emphasized its support for HHS' comprehensive initiative, which is utilizing surveillance, prevention, research, incentives and oversight to reduce ADEs associated with anticoagulation therapy, diabetic agents, and opioids. 

"AMCP looks forward to continuing its work with HHS to improve health care outcomes and patient care through provider collaboration and integration of Health Information Technology strategies," said AMCP CEO Edith A. Rosato, RPh, IOM. "Pharmacists should and can play a front-line role in improving outcomes and reducing ADEs. 

"Along these lines, we are working with a number of other pharmacy groups and companies to develop a system that would allow pharmacists to participate as direct patient care providers in existing and evolving payment models, including accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes," Rosato added. 

AMCP provided comments and recommendations in response to reducing ADEs in the three classes identified in the agency's draft Action Plan and the 4-pronged approach to achieve ADE prevention. An excerpt from AMCP's letter follows:  

  • Enhancing Opportunities for Pharmacists as Direct Patient Care Providers in Existing and Emerging Health Care Models - AMCP believes that pharmacist participation as direct care providers may be achieved through a variety of federal and state public and private initiatives. These initiatives would not necessarily require full provider status under Medicare Part B, as an amendment to the Social Security Act (SSA) that could take many years, or even decades, to achieve. Other options within the Medicare program exist, including pharmacist recognition and involvement with ACOs, PCMH, and other new payment models or options within Medicare Part D. ... 
  • HIT and the Need for Pharmacists as Meaningful Users of EHRs - AMCP agrees that a comprehensive team approach that includes pharmacists is critical to managing ADEs, but that HIT systems must also be enhanced to improve communication of issues in and out of the hospital system to non-affiliated health care providers and plans. Only this type of system will enhance gains made through collaborative inpatient clinics that are implemented across health care settings. ... 
  • Proposed Four-Pronged Approach to Reduce ADEs - AMCP's comments focused on establishing active, real-time surveillance that provides comprehensive patient information to share among health care providers, health plans, MCOs, and PBMs. Additionally, we are promoting more participation by pharmacists in medication management during transitions of care and medication reconciliation, optimizing use of pharmacy & therapeutics committees and electronic prior authorization as a means to reduce and prevent ADEs, and utilizing MCO's to analyze data and to identify polypharmacy issues that are correlated to the disease states identified by HHS. 

To read the full contents of the letter, click here.

About AMCP  
The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy is a national professional association of pharmacists and other health care practitioners who serve society by the application of sound medication management principles and strategies to improve health care for all. The Academy's nearly 7,000 members develop and provide a diversified range of clinical, educational and business management services and strategies on behalf of the more than 200 million Americans covered by a managed care pharmacy benefit. It is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013. More news and information about the Academy can be found at 
For more information, please contact:
Kevin Bruns | 703-683-8416 ext. 656