If you throw in on top of the growing number of people [ joining HMOs ] the fact that some people are having to come back because they just didn't comply in the first place , then you are just limiting your accessibility more , said Daniel M. Witt , PharmD , a clinical pharmacy specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado
.You are taking up time doing things that should have been taken care of the first time..
Kaiser Permanente in Colorado has assigned Dr. Witt
and a dozen other pharmacists to work in the medical offices alongside internists and family physicians.I'm here as a consultant for drug-related programs and as a person who can provide supplemental education to patients , Dr. Witt
explained.For example , patients taking the anticoagulant drug Coumadin are followed regularly by a clinical pharmacy specialist working under a protocol set by the physicians.The protocol is designed to make sure patients take their medicines regularly and properly.
I think the data are pretty clear that a fair number of people are hospitalized every year because they didn't take their medicine and their condition worsened , Dr. Witt
Pharmaceutical companies are facing their own financial challenges , some of which are prompting them to pay attention as never before to issues of patient compliance and needs of managed care.The goal is to shore up market share for their products and to make money by branching out into the field of pharmacy benefit management.
For example , one of the things that happened after Merck & Co.
.Inc. bought Medco Containment Services Inc.
last year was the creation of a clinical program to make sure geriatric patients take their medicine correctly.