Study to evaluate medication use data

May 1, 1997
Pharmaceutical Representative

Routine medication use, as-needed medication use and psychotherapeutic medication usage across nursing facilities will be evaluated in a study sponsored by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists' Research and Education Foundation, Alexandria, VA.

Routine medication use, as-needed medication use and psychotherapeutic medication usage across nursing facilities will be evaluated in a study sponsored by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists' Research and Education Foundation, Alexandria, VA.

The 1997 National Medication Usage Study, the third of its kind, will update findings from the most recent investigation in 1994, according to Janice Feinberg, executive director of the society's research foundation.

Study coordinator Dianne Tobias, president of Tobias Consulting Services, Placentia, CA, will interpret medication use data submitted last month by Canadian and U.S. nursing facilities and consultant pharmacists.

At press time, nursing facilities and consultant pharmacists were scheduled to receive their usage statistics and regional and national averages by May 31.

The society will release its findings later this year.

According to the society, the data analysis will help long-term care pharmacists strategize consulting, provide facilities with comparative data useful for continuous quality improvement and allow providers to benchmark individual practices.

"The study will help facilities, pharmacists and physicians do an apples-to-apples comparison of their data [compared with] other facilities," said Tobias. It will also stimulate other facilities that did not participate in the study to review and assess the appropriateness of their medication use, she said.

Capping use

The study's findings will be particularly useful for facilities operating as part of a managed care network, Tobias said.

"If a facility or consultant pharmacist is paid under capitation, it will be to everyone's benefit to use fewer drugs," she said.

"Capitation creates an incentive to optimize as well as minimize drug use on both the provider and patient side," Tobias said. PR