Medicines increase life expectancy and quality of life for millions of Americans. But their success also depends on pharmacists, who help the right patients get the right medications at the right time, NPC President and CEO John M. O’Brien, PharmD, MPH, writes in a commentary for Pharmacy Times.
Dr. O’Brien’s commentary stresses the importance of prioritizing patient needs, especially at the pharmacy counter.
Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professional and the health professional most prepared to optimize medication use to improve patient health. The broader health care delivery and payment system, especially insurance benefit design, should adopt this patient-centered mindset.
The commentary highlights key points from NPC studies:
Health insurance plans do not ask patients for input when developing specialty drug coverage policies (Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy)
Patient affordability at the pharmacy counter is unlikely to increase with government involvement in drug pricing (Xcenda-NPC white paper)
Medication access varies widely among insurance plans, creating barriers for patients (Health Affairs)
Health care stakeholders should come together to find evidence-based solutions that keep the patient at the center and help make patients healthier, Dr. O’Brien writes.