Letter to the Editor Regarding "Dangers Found in Lack of Safety Oversight for Medicare Drug Benefit"

As submitted to The Washington Post

Dear Editor:

There is an available and accessible solution to the problems of wasted spending and medication overuse ("Dangers found in lack of safety oversight for Medicare drug benefit," May 12, 2013).

Medicare Part D includes provisions for Medication Therapy Management (MTM) for a small percentage of beneficiaries taking a high number of prescriptions. In January Medicare released a study showing that MTM saved hundreds of dollars per patient with Congestive Heart Failure or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Other studies have shown a 12:1 return on investment for MTM services provided face to face by a licensed pharmacist.

Two bills in Congress (H.R. 1024 and S.557) would increase the number of Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for MTM. One solution to address Part D's medication overuse and over-spending problems cited in the article is already available. It just needs to be expanded so more patients benefit from lower costs and better care.

Sincerely,

B. Douglas Hoey, R.Ph., M.B.A.
Chief Executive Officer
National Community Pharmacists Association
Alexandria, VA

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