Healthcare costs, lack of communication are of major concern to healthcare leaders

Around 49% of the more than 300 healthcare providers, hospital/health system executives, payers, advocacy groups, and academics surveyed by Get the Medications Right™ (GTMRx) Institute said the cost of healthcare is the biggest issue they face.

The cost of healthcare is the biggest issue healthcare leaders face, a new survey says. Plus, communication between prescribers and pharmacists is the top concern in medication management.

Around 49% of the more than 300 healthcare providers, hospital/health system executives, payers, advocacy groups, and academics surveyed by Get the Medications Right™ (GTMRx) Institute said the cost of healthcare is the biggest issue they face.

Related: COVID-19 pushes up prescription drug spending of healthcare systems

Similarly, a separate report, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ (ASHP) National Trends in Prescription Drug Expenditures and Projections for 2021 found costs related to the pandemic will continue to be a significant driver of healthcare systems’ drug expenditures in 2021, along with uptake in the use of biosimilars, a large pipeline of new cancer drugs, and increased approvals of specialty medications.

Prescription drug spending in 2020 grew at a moderate rate of 4.9% to $535.3 billion, driven by increased utilization. Spending on new drugs accounted for 1.8% of the increase, and price changes accounted for 0.3%.

IN the GTMRx survey, 27% said that personal silos preventing integrated patient-centered care is the biggest healthcare issue, while 16.5% named access to healthcare and 7% said appropriately managing medications.

Fifty percent said lack of communication is the biggest issue in medication management, while 36% said the cost of medications is the top concern, and nearly 13% called out a “trial and error” approach to prescribing as the biggest concern.

Related: Express Scripts report: top drug classes driving spending growth

“The major discussion around pharmacy benefits centers on access to and affordability of drugs, but the elephant in the room is appropriate use of all medications,” said Katherine H. Capps, co-founder and executive director of The GTMRx Institute, in a press release. “We must find a better way to optimize medication use to avoid life-threatening and wasteful overuse, misuse and underuse.”

Capps contends that a move toward comprehensive medication management (CMM), in which physicians and pharmacists individuals assess the appropriateness, effectiveness, and safety of each medication, is a solution.

Although more than 96% of those surveyed believe a more comprehensive and integrated way to manage medications, 44% said that CMM is not well understood or not understood at all in their immediate network.

Nearly 84% of respondents believe that wide adoption of CMM could help stem the opioid addiction crisis.

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