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Center for Medication Optimization through Practice and Policy Centers Eshelman Institute for Innovation Faculty Featured General Industry Research, Jon Easter
Grayson Mendenhall
January 22, 2019

Susan Dentzer, president and CEO of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, speaks at the CMO Summit.

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the School’s Center for Medication Optimization brought together leaders from across the health care industry to highlight the multi-billion dollar problem of medication mismanagement and develop collaborative medication optimization strategies that aim to transform health care.

More than half of the U.S. population takes multiple medications daily to help treat one or more chronic conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes. Other serious conditions, like cancer and HIV, have extremely complex regimens that must be coordinated.

And when these medication regimens are mismanaged by health care providers and patients, it can lead to unnecessary medical complications, hospitalizations and patients’ time away from work and family. The annual cost of medication mismanagement is estimated to be $528.4 billion.

“The U.S. spends more on medication mismanagement each year than we spend on medications in total,” said CMO Director Jon Easter. “The goal of this collaboration summit is to identify and address the current blind spot in our health care delivery system.”

There is currently a lack of consistent clinical pharmacy interventions within the care delivery system to help patients proactively manage their medications.

CMO Director Jon Easter speaks at the CMO Summit.

The Summit concluded with attendees creating medication optimization plans for their own organizations and institutions.

A key insight from the summit was that solutions to medication mismanagement will take collaboration and investment by healthcare providers, payers, patient groups, academia and government.

To accelerate these efforts, the UNC Eshelman Institute for Innovation announced that it is seeking to co-fund innovative ideas from industry and non-profit organizations to stimulate development of medication optimization programs. Proposals will be accepted for consideration during the next proposal cycle, March 1, 2019. The Institute is positioned to provide matching funding of up to $250,000 for projects aimed at transforming the delivery of health care.

“By collaborating, we will create new solutions that can be replicated across the country to improve patient care and lower costs,” Easter said. “Everyone, especially patients, stands to benefit from optimized medications in the form of better care and lower costs.”

About the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is a global leader in pharmacy practice, education and research with a world class faculty, staff and student body. The School is recognized as the number one school of pharmacy in the U.S. by the U.S. News and World Report and is known for its rigorous education and training programs, cutting-edge multidisciplinary research, progressive pharmacy practices and efficient business operations. The School’s mission is to develop leaders in pharmacy education, pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences who make a difference in human health worldwide.

About the Center for Medication Optimization

The Center for Medication Optimization at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy strives to bring diverse health-care stakeholders together to create impactful real-world research, generate evidence, disseminate best practices and advance education in order to integrate medication optimization into value-based care delivery and payment models.

About the UNC Eshelman Institute for Innovation

The UNC Eshelman Institute for Innovation was established in 2015 with a gift of $100 million from Dr. Fred Eshelman. The Institute strives to accelerate the creation and development of ideas leading to discoveries and transformative changes in education, research, and health care through strategic collaborations inside and outside of the University of North Carolina. The Institute has awarded more than $20 million in grants since 2015.

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