Medco to pay pharmacists for closing medication loop

Pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions will deliver electronic alerts to pharmacies for patients who may not be following their doctors' orders and pay as many as 100 pharmacists in Illinois for coordinating care with physicians and counseling patients with chronic conditions. Medco also will work with the Illinois Pharmacists Association, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy and Mirixa, a pharmacy-based patient care network, to study the efforts to close gaps in medication adherence over the course of a 26-week trial period.

"It transforms traditional competitors into collaborators; creates a partnership across private business, public employers and research institutions; and leverages advanced technology using evidence-based protocols to efficiently identify and effectively close gaps in care for patients who are suffering chronic and complex conditions--patients who account for 96 percent of all drug costs and 75 percent of all medical spending," Medco President and COO Kenny Klepper says of the program.

The UIC College of Pharmacy will train and offer guidance to as many as 100 community pharmacists on how to improve medication adherence and on identifying essential medications that patients on State of Illinois' employee health plans should be receiving for cardiovascular, diabetes, pulmonary and neuroscience issues. Medco will deliver alerts over the Mirixa network and offer consulting fees to participating pharmacists.

"Medco research revealed more than 25,000 of our state employees and their dependents with chronic or complex conditions may not be taking all the medicines they need to stay healthy or following their doctor's instructions," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says in a statement released by Medco.

To learn more about this program:
- take a look at this Medco press release