How to use pharmacy data to improve your pharmacy?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is set to release its latest data analytics tool in an effort to improve access to affordable prescription drugs.
The new tool, called the Medicare Drug Price Index (MDPI), is designed to help consumers better understand and understand their medication costs.
The index uses data collected by drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers to track prescription drug prices across all 50 states.
The database will be released on Monday, but the release comes after a year of work for the CMS to develop the tool.
“This is the first time that we’re using this data set to create an accurate, transparent database of drug prices,” said Michael Tarrant, the executive director of the Medicare Information Services Institute, a nonprofit that helps the Medicare Trustees Service develop and implement Medicare drug price data.
According to the agency, the MDPI provides consumers with information on drug prices that is “fully accurate, timely and consistent with the best practice in pharmacy benefit management.”
According to data released by the CMS on Monday , the index is the most accurate and comprehensive database of pharmaceutical prices available.
In addition to its database, the database includes information on pharmacy benefit manager prices, prices for a range of pharmaceuticals, and prices for generic drugs.
“If you can use the database to better understand how you might pay for medications, you can find better ways to pay for them,” said David Lippman, chief economist for drug benefit manager Insys.
“This is what I like to call a ‘big data’ approach to pharmacy.”
According a press release from the CMS, the index has been developed using data from more than 20 years of data collection, including more than 11 million pharmacy benefit account transactions.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to help the nation’s pharmacy benefit programs by sharing more accurate information about prescription drug costs,” said CMS Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Gattuso.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have an index that helps patients understand their medications and understand what’s going on in their health care,” said Dan Kriznic, president and CEO of Pharmacy Benefit Manager, a pharmacy benefit group.
“The value of this new tool will be in helping more consumers find ways to manage their prescriptions, making it easier to make smart choices about which medicines they need,” said Gary Pinto, president of pharmacy benefit and data provider, Medisource Medical.
The MDPI database will help pharmacists better understand their costs, the CMS said in a press statement.
“More people are taking advantage of prescription drug plans, which are often more cost-effective than generic medications, but there is still a long way to go to better communicate with patients about the value of their prescription drugs,” said Dr. Joseph C. Rizzuto, president, American Academy of Family Physicians.
“By building a better understanding of the costs of prescription drugs, we can make better health care decisions that can make a difference in the lives of Americans,” he said.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicare &admd.gov said that more than 90 percent of all new Medicare prescription drug coverage is now covered by this data.
“While it’s important to understand the true costs of drugs, it’s also important to be able to afford them, because the costs are higher than people think,” said Lipp-Smith.
“The data is here to help patients make informed choices about their prescriptions.”
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