The Sunday, September 5 edition of The Washington Post included an article about ongoing efforts to improve medication adherence through research and patient-focused strategies.

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NACDS submitted a letter-to-the-editor to urge enactment of the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act to help address non-adherence. The Washington Post did not publish this letter – most likely because it had published an NACDS submission as recently as March about the importance of separate legislation that would foster collaboration among the health and enforcement communities to solve the challenges of prescription drug abuse, access and addiction.

All of this demonstrates the breadth of pressing – and apparently newsworthy – issues on which NACDS is engaged. Still, the NACDS letter on medication adherence deserves to reach more eyes, so we are going to distribute it through and social media. In fact, we would love your help – feel free to share this column through your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts.

Here is NACDS’ take on the September 5 article in The Washington Post on medication adherence, and what NACDS-backed legislation can do to improve it:

Researchers are trying again to help you take your medicine” hit the nail on the head about the importance of patients taking their medication as prescribed.   Researchers interviewed for the article indicate that medication adherence will not improve ‘if patients don’t develop the habit of sticking to their medication regimens.’

“But there is a solution.

“Pending bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate – S. 776, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015 – would improve access to medication therapy management (MTM) services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program.  Medicare Part D patients with specific chronic conditions – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD and high cholesterol – would benefit from the education and training of pharmacists and other qualified health practitioners to help ensure that medications are taken appropriately. 

“There is overwhelming support and research – including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – showing that filling prescription medications and taking them as prescribed improves medication adherence, resulting in better health outcomes and reduced overall medical costs. 

“Continued non-adherence will only generate greater health risks for patients with chronic conditions.  This commonsense legislation is key to improving medication adherence and health for these patients.”