Medication Management Program Grows to Expand Patient Care Services

10/07/2014

The Medication Management Program (MMP) at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy is growing to serve more patients. With its larger staff, the program is projected to complete more than three hundred person-to-person comprehensive medication reviews weekly.

“We are excited about our growth and the opportunity to impact more patients,” said Ashley Sweaney, MMP pharmacy director. “Our full-time staff additions come with a variety of experience in managed care, community pharmacy and ambulatory care settings, and our student interns are getting an incredible opportunity to work directly with patients and apply what they are learning in the classroom.”

Since February, the MMP, a part of the Institute of Therapeutic Innovations and Outcomes (ITIO) at the College of Pharmacy, has expanded from a total staff of three to four full-time pharmacists, five full-time pharmacy technicians and 23 part-time pharmacy interns to meet the rising demand for medication therapy management services.

“It is gratifying to see the positive impact of our program on the health and well-being of patients across the country, our students learning about patient care and the opportunities for generating new knowledge through research,” said Milap Nahata, ITIO director. “We are actively seeking partnerships with employers, health systems and insurance companies to optimize the benefits of medications.”

ITIO’s goals are to enhance medication therapy outcomes and reduce costs through practice innovations, education and research. Since 2011, ITIO has been collaborating with the Rx Ohio Collaborative, which creates strategies to enhance patient health and reduce prescription drug costs for the consumers and the employers by working with the pharmacy benefit manager.

In 2013, ITIO had a new opportunity to establish the Medication Management Program. ITIO-MMP utilizes the information system developed by SinfoníaRx, a spin-off company of the University of Arizona’s Medication Management Center (MMC), to identify and triage potential drug-related concerns, which are then addressed by staff through telephonic patient consultations and provider outreach.

“The expansion of the ITIO-MMP means that more patients will have access to experts in innovative ambulatory care pharmacy services,” said Kevin Boesen, SinfoníaRx CEO. “The annual cost of medication misuse in the United States is estimated to be more than $200 billion. The services offered by the ITIO-MMP are critical to reducing those costs.”

“The things that I am doing here, as a part of this program, are the things that made me get into pharmacy in the first place,” said Bruce Minto, one of the newly hired pharmacists. “Lowering healthcare care costs, speaking directly with the patients and mentoring students are what Im passionate about, and I have those opportunities here.”

To learn more about ITIO or ITIO-MMP and collaborative opportunities with the programs, interested parties may contact Ashley Sweaney at sweaney.2@osu.edu and 614-292-1126 or Milap Nahata at nahata.1@osu.edu or 614-292-2472.