School receives $12 million for clinics
The School of Pharmacy received more than $12 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve safe use of prescription drugs by bringing pharmacists into Southern California safety-net clinics. The award is the largest that the school has ever received, according to a press release from the school.
The school plans to partner with AltaMed, which works to close health disparities in Southern California, to launch the project in three Orange Country treatment clinics serving communities with large uninsured populations and poor access to medical services. The project will ultimately include AltaMed clinics in Los Angeles County.
‚ÄúThe project is designed to address both the widespread misuse of prescribed medications and the shortage of primary care providers in low-income populations,‚ÄĚ said Geoffrey Joyce, the project‚Äôs principal investigator and an associate professor at the School of Pharmacy, in a statement. ‚ÄúFurther, pharmacists are remarkably underutilized in the U.S. health care system and this demonstration will test and evaluate the impact of using them in primary care settings.‚ÄĚ
According to the school‚Äôs statement, poor compliance with prescription drugs results in avoidable negative health effects that total $290 billion in annual national medical spending. Some of these effects include hospitalizations and a higher risk of death.
‚ÄúThis is a tremendous opportunity for us to again demonstrate and evaluate a model of care that uses pharmacists to cost-effectively improve health outcomes,‚ÄĚ said R. Pete Vanderveen, dean of the School of Pharmacy, in a statement. ‚ÄúOur faculty has over a decade of experience in the safety net [and]… this important project that promises to provide desperately needed medication management services to some of the most vulnerable in our community.‚ÄĚ