Collaborative Drug Therapy Management by Pharmacists - 2003

American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Raymond W. Hammond, PharmD, FCCP, Amy H. Schwartz, PharmD, Marla J. Campbell, PharmD, Tami L. Remington, PharmD, Susan Chuck, PharmD, Melissa M. Blair, PharmD, Ann M. Vassey, PharmD, Raylene M. Rospond, PharmD, FCCP, Sheryl J. Herner, PharmD, and C. Edwin Webb, PharmD, MPH


Pharmacotherapy. 2003;23(9) 

In This Article

Evolving View of Health Care

Health care costs have continued to rise since the previous ACCP position statement.[1] It has been projected that, in the United States, health care expenditures will reach $3.1 trillion and will constitute 17.7% of the gross domestic product by 2012.[22] In addition, it is estimated that prescription drug costs will increase from $121.5 billion in 2001 to $445.9 billion in 2012. These projections have led to greater scrutiny regarding health care system expenditures.

The issue of patient safety also has gained considerable attention. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine released its landmark study concerning medical errors. The report estimated that such errors cost the health care system $17-29 billion/year and that at least 44,000 deaths/year occur in hospitals as the result of these errors.[3] In response to this report, the Patient Safety Task Force was established by the Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate data collection and analysis to meet the stated goal of reducing medical errors by 50% by 2004.[23]

National pharmacy organizations such as ACCP have taken the opportunity presented by the report's findings to clarify and promote the role and responsibilities of pharmacists in improving patient safety as it relates to the use of pharmacotherapy. Given the growing emphasis on patient safety and medication errors in the health care system, it is appropriate that pharmacists should play an increasingly important role in patient care, especially through CDTM. Greater pharmacist involvement can be accomplished through a variety of activities ranging from direct patient care to policy development at the local, state, and national levels. By practicing in a collaborative relationship with other health care providers, pharmacists can improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of drug use and overall health care.


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