For some, getting a yearly medication review is just as important as getting an annual physical exam. As your health conditions change, so can your medication needs.
If you currently take four or more medications to manage a chronic condition, you might benefit from working with a pharmacist who can help you evaluate your prescription needs. Check with your health insurance provider to see if they offer or cover this service. Priority Health, for example, offers Medication Therapy Management (MTM) consultations for its members. Specially trained local pharmacists can help you get the best results from your medications while keeping your out-of-pocket costs down. These pharmacists do much more than dispense drugs. Your MTM pharmacist is your personal resource and advocate.
What to Expect
During your 30-minute Comprehensive Medication Review, a certified MTM pharmacist will review all of your medications—including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbals and supplements—to help identify any drug-related problems, such as duplications or drug interactions. On average, two drug-related problems are resolved for each person engaged in the MTM program.
Your pharmacist will also help you organize your medication schedule, explain how to correctly use each drug and recommend over-the-counter treatments you can use to ease minor ailments. They may even be able to save you money on your prescriptions by recommending lower cost alternatives that reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Through the process, the pharmacist stays in contact with your primary care doctor.
Questions to Ask
To get the most out of your MTM medication review, be sure to ask your pharmacist the following questions:
- Should I take my medications with or without food?
- Are there any foods or drinks I should avoid while taking these medications?
- What things should my doctor and I do to make sure my medications are working properly?
- Are there any over-the-counter medicines I should avoid while taking these medications?
Where to Go
MTM pharmacists work with local pharmacies, including Walgreens, Meijer, Spartan Stores, Rite Aid, CVS and many independent pharmacies.
Don’t just take our word for it, here are some powerful examples of how working closely with pharmacists has benefited patients:
- During a review, a pharmacist found that a patient had unknowingly not refilled two medications that were previously prescribed and a necessary part of their care. The pharmacist was able to refill the prescription and get the patient back on track.
- When a patient was unable to afford a certain medication, the pharmacist connected with the patient’s physician and insurance company to find a more affordable alternative.
- A diabetic patient was discussing their diabetes medication and confided in the pharmacist that they weren’t comfortable using the glucometer. The pharmacist was able to demonstrate how to correctly and easily check his own blood glucose and manage his diabetes more effectively.
To get started on your own medication review, reach out to your health insurance company and find the best pharmacy with a pharmacist ready to help you evaluate your medication needs.