ACCP and RI Award $2.4 Million Grant

ACCP and the ACCP Research Institute have awarded a grant of more than $2.4 million to the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy (UNC) to study the impact of implementing comprehensive medication management (CMM) in contemporary primary care medical practices. Collaborating with UNC on this project will be the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management, the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network, and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

It is widely recognized that strategies to address the safe, effective, and affordable use of medications in primary care are critical to enhance patients’ health, improve care transitions, increase value, and control costs. UNC and its collaborators will address several questions to determine how CMM can be implemented and sustained in real-world primary care medical practices, including:

  • Which patients and populations within primary care practices benefit the most from CMM?

  • Among those who receive CMM, what is the impact on quality of care and cost? Are the patients in greatest need of medication optimization receiving CMM, and if so, what are best practices around the duration and frequency of follow-up?

  • How can/should CMM be delivered, replicated, scaled, and sustained? In other words, how can medical practices do this most effectively?

  • Which medication-related, clinical, and economic performance metrics are most relevant to today’s primary care practices? What are the contributions of the clinical pharmacist to helping the practice achieve these metrics?

  • What are the contributions of the clinical pharmacist to the net revenue generated by the practice, and what is the relative return on investment of having the clinical pharmacist embedded in the office or clinic?

ACCP has integrated the practice framework of CMM into its strategic plan, organizational policy and advocacy agenda, professional development initiatives, and research agenda. ACCP President Judith Jacobi, Pharm.D., FCCP, MCCM, BCPS, commented on the significance of the work to be funded by this grant, the largest ever awarded by the College.

CMM holds significant promise as an effective, patient-centered practice to optimize medication use. The practice of CMM is gaining increasing support from policy-makers, medical and other professional organizations, and primary care providers. However, to advance this meaningful approach to medication management and ensure its widespread uptake and sustainability in primary care medical practices, well-designed research that comprehensively examines the implementation and impact of CMM on patients’ medication-related outcomes is needed. The work proposed by UNC and its collaborators rigorously addresses these issues. Their proposal involves the use of a consistent process of care provided by well-trained clinical pharmacists embedded in primary care practices and serving as integral members of the health care team. No study of consistent CMM practice across such a diverse mix of real-world practice settings has ever been carried out.

When notified that UNC was named as the recipient of the award, Mary Roth McClurg, Pharm.D., MHS, principal investigator on the grant application, stated:

While we aim to provide additional evidence demonstrating the impact of comprehensive medication management (CMM) on patient care, our true goal is to demonstrate how it works, how to incorporate it into busy medical practices, and how to pay for it. Throughout the project, we will share learnings and best practices nationally and with multiple stakeholders for adoption and scale. On behalf of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and our collaborators, we are honored to receive this award. We are grateful for the level of support provided by ACCP and the ACCP Research Institute, and look forward to conducting this important work.

A request for letters of intent to apply for this grant was issued jointly by ACCP and the ACCP Research Institute on April 15, 2015, and letters of intent were accepted through June 1. A total of 52 letters were received and then screened to determine whether they met the eligibility criteria and minimum qualifications. Six applicants were identified that most closely met the grant selection criteria, and on June 15, 2015, invitations were sent to those applicants to submit full proposals. Full proposals were due on or before August 1.

A five-person CMM application review panel independently conducted complete proposal reviews. Members of the review panel were:

Chair: Gary C. Yee, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCOP
Professor and Associate Dean College of Pharmacy
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Rex Force, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS
Associate Dean for Clinical Research, Division of Health Sciences
Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Family Medicine
Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine
Idaho State University

Laura Lee Hall, Ph.D.
Director
Center for Quality and Office of Grants
American College of Physicians

Brian S. Mittman, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor, VA Center for Implementation Practice and Research Support
Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Senior Scientist, Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation

C. Edwin Webb, Pharm.D., MPH
Associate Executive Director
American College of Clinical Pharmacy

The panel held two conference calls to deliberate its findings and arrive at a final recommendation. This recommendation was submitted to the ACCP Board of Regents in mid-September. The Board of Regents took action on this recommendation on September 22.

Other finalist applicants included the University of California, San Diego, School of Pharmacy; the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy; the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy; and the University of Washington School of Pharmacy.