KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

North Carolina Pharmacy Agency Could Prove To Be Model

A North Carolina pharmacists' nonprofit agency that helps seniors and creates savings for all could be a model for health-care reform. The [Raleigh] News & Observer reports: "For 15 years, pharmacists at a Durham nonprofit have helped older, low-income people take the right prescription drugs, in the right amounts at the right times. But the job of Senior PharmAssist doesn't end there. The agency also works to keep clients from taking prescription drugs in ways that can actually harm or kill them -- through bad interactions with other drugs, food or medical conditions." The News & Observer notes that these efforts sound pretty basic, "but such precautions on a national scale could save more than $20 billion annually in unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency care, according to one estimate." Some advocates and health professionals say national reform proposals should include approaches like this one, "which coordinates clients' care with doctors and social workers" (Goldsmith, 8/10).

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