Is it Time to Deprescribe?

Man pouring out one pill from bottle
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It’s important to review your current medication regimen on a yearly basis with a clinician. Older adults are taking a multitude of pills, with 66 percent taking five or more and 27 percent taking 10 or more.1 Some of these medications may not even be necessary anymore. While most people rely on their primary physician, “physicians often don’t have enough information about what patients are taking, or may lack the time to talk to patients about these medications.”1 So who can patients talk to about their medications? Pharmacists.

One in Five Older Adults are on an Inappropriate Medication

While medications can be extremely beneficial in managing chronic conditions, taking multiple medications at once can create some risk. About one-third of adverse events in hospitalizations include a drug-related harm, leading to longer hospital stays and greater expense. The National Academy of Medicine estimated that there are 400,000 preventable adverse drug events in hospitals each year, costing $3.5 billion. At least one in five older patients are on an inappropriate medication — one that they can do without or that can be switched to a different, safer drug.2

Pharmacist Involvement Improves Overall Care

Pharmacists do so much more than just dispense prescriptions. They have a wealth of knowledge to assist patients with safe medication use, potential drug interactions as well as preventative services and over the counter medications. There have been a multitude of studies conducted over the years measuring patient improvement when a pharmacist is included as part of the care team working with the physician. In a recent study, published in JAMA, patients were randomly assigned to two groups. With one group, pharmacists gave both patients and their physicians educational materials on the specific drug that might have been inappropriately prescribed. The control group got the usual care, with no educational materials. Within six months, 43 percent of the patients in the intervention group had stopped taking one of the selected medicines. The corresponding figure was 12 percent in the control group.

Tria Health’s Pharmacists

Tria Health was founded on the belief that pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients that drive the majority of health care spend. If Tria Health is currently a part of your healthcare plan, call the Tria Health Help desk today for any of your medication-related questions.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/upshot/pharmacists-drugs-health-unsung-role.html?register=google
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/upshot/how-many-pills-are-too-many.html?module=inline

Celebrate October with Tria Health!

October is an important month in healthcare! October is American Pharmacists Month AND October 21st is National Check Your Meds Day!

What is National Check Your Meds Day?

Consumer Reports found that 53% of patients get their drugs from more than one healthcare provider. Perhaps more worryingly, only 50% of patents have ever asked their doctor to review their list of medications and 35% had never had ANY healthcare professional examine their lists.” For this reason, Consumer Reports is sponsoring National Check Your Meds Day.

Lisa Gill, Deputy Director for Consumer Reports, says “Pharmacists are a terrific resource” for helping to identify problem medications. She also said, “My hope is that people take their meds to a pharmacist they trust.”

Tria Health’s specially trained pharmacists provide necessary education and coordination of care to improve condition management. Pharmacists are the best healthcare providers to identify potential drug interactions, medication side effects, and dosing issues. Tria Health’s pharmacists can communicate this knowledge to patients, physicians, and other healthcare providers.

Tria Health offers this service regularly, as part of our Pharmacy Advocate and Specialty GuardRx programs.

Comprehensive Medication Review (a/k/a Brown Bag Review)

A brown bag review is your opportunity to speak with a clinical pharmacist to review all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

During this review, pharmacists will help you better understand your medications, and ensure that you are taking the right combination of medications for your individual health needs.

Ready for your Employees to Schedule a Brown Bag Review?

Skip the lines at your pharmacy and call Tria Health today at 913-322-8456!

Limit the Tylenol

Many prescription pain medications are combination products that contain varying amounts of Tylenol, or acetaminophen.  In the past, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not placed limits on the amount of Tylenol that is included in these combo products.  That is changing as the FDA is asking manufacturers of these medications to limit the amount of Tylenol per pill to 325mg.

Excessive amounts of Tylenol can lead to serious liver damage.  If you are taking a prescription pain medication that contains Tylenol, it is important to avoid the use of over the counter products that contain acetaminophen (the same active ingredient as Tylenol).  Acetaminophen is available in a variety of over the counter remedies, including numerous cough and cold products.

Look and Ask!  Look at the active ingredient listing on all over the counter products and ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.