College of Pharmacy launches Medication Management Program in partnership with SinfoníaRx

Daniel Helfand
03/18/2014

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and SinfoníaRx, a medication therapy management services company, announced today that they have collaborated to create The Ohio State University Medication Management Program (OSU-MMP). The telepharmacy program is designed to optimize health outcomes for individual patients, especially those in Medicare, by improving medication adherence, optimizing safety and treatment options, and reducing costs.

“When we consider that a typical 70-year old patient is receiving 12 or more prescription drugs and low health literacy affects nearly 90 percent of adults, the need for educating patients about the proper use of their medications to achieve the desired results is pretty obvious,” said Milap Nahata, director of the Institute of Therapeutic Innovations and Outcomes where the OSU-MMP resides. “We expect to offer our services to more than 20,000 Medicare patients in 2014.”

OSU-MMP’s current staff consists of a licensed pharmacist, a pharmacy intern and a pharmacy technician who complete targeted and comprehensive medication reviews for patients across the country. The program also takes student pharmacists in their last year of training for monthly rotations as an educational experience. Through the collaboration, OSU-MMP utilizes software developed by SinfoníaRx that identifies current drug related problems and uses predictive modeling to identify future drug related concerns.

“We have an innovative model through this program that both improves patient outcomes and provides student pharmacists with an opportunity to gain valuable practice experience,” said Ashley Sweaney, pharmacy director of OSU-MMP. “This program also allows us to expand our reach to patients who might live in locations where they can’t easily speak with someone about their medications or who are homebound.”

SinfoníaRx is a spin-off company of the University of Arizona’s Medication Management Center (MMC), which was founded by Kevin Boesen in 2006. SinfoníaRx is the largest provider of MTM services in the country offering a suite of MTM programs, including required Medicare Part D MTM services, Medicare STAR improvement programs, commercial MTM programs and direct-to-consumer programs. Until the addition of the OSU-MMP, the MMC had been the sole provider of the MTM services offered by SinfoníaRx. In 2014, SinfoníaRx, the MMC and OSU-MMP support more than 325 health plans representing more than 6.5 million patients nationwide.

“We are extremely excited about this collaboration with OSU. Like the University of Arizona, The Ohio State University is consistently considered one of the top pharmacy schools in the country. This collaboration will allow our patients access to more expert MTM providers and facilitate the growth of our award winning programs,” said Boesen.

Sweaney spent six years working at the MMC as a student pharmacist before expanding the program to Ohio State. After completing an OSU community pharmacy residency, Sweaney was hired at the College of Pharmacy to establish the new program. Last month, OSU-MMP began making its first calls to patients.

“Having seen how effective this program has been for millions of people at the University of Arizona, I am eager to help expand these practices to new patient populations,” said Sweaney. “Today alone, I was able to recommend an inhaler to an asthma patient who was having trouble breathing and helped another patient save money and avoid adverse effects by eliminating a redundancy on his medication list. The creation of the OSU-MMP will allow pharmacists and student pharmacists to impact patient care locally and across the country.”

“Our vision is to expand the program to help patients of all ages in optimizing the benefits of their medications,” said Nahata. “We are actively seeking partnerships with insurance companies, health plans and employers to grow this program.”

To learn more about OSU-MMP and collaborative opportunities with the program, interested parties may contact Sweaney at sweaney.2@osu.edu and 614-292-1126 or Boesen at kpboesen@sinfoniarx and 520-499-3376.