The United States healthcare system continues a shift to value-based care with a focus on better care for patients, better health for communities, and lower costs. While some progress has been made to address medication mismanagement through patient care pharmacy services, gaps exist in the current care delivery system to realize the potential of optimizing medications to improve public and population health.

To address this, the NACDS Foundation awarded a grant to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to explore and evaluate the feasibility, sustainability, and effectiveness of four patient-centered, quality-driven care services delivered in community pharmacy settings.

As part of the grant agreement, up to 20 community pharmacies across the U.S. will be enrolled in the project to deliver one of four patient care services. These services were selected based on a data-driven process that prioritized gaps in population health coupled with solutions feasible to implement within the community pharmacy setting. Interventions include: a Comprehensive Program for Diabetes, a Comprehensive Program for Cardiovascular Disease, Behavioral Health Screening and Support for Depression and Anxiety, and HIV Services (testing, prevention, and referrals to HIV care).

“Increasing access to innovative care delivery models designed to better manage chronic diseases is vital to advancing public health,” said NACDS Foundation President Sara Roszak. “Our mission is to shorten the distance between patients and better health. Through partnerships with academic institutions like UNC, we are able to tackle key pressing health issues, utilizing research as an instrument of change to help serve all communities, bridge gaps in care, and promote sustainable, scalable care models.”

“Healthcare transformation is quickly evolving and increasingly driving patient care access in the community pharmacy setting,” said Jon Easter, Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) and Professor of the Practice at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “Our project seeks to improve patient access and care by way of building and validating value-based community pharmacy services, in collaboration with providers and payers, to enable scalable programs with collective impact on patient outcomes across the country.”

Dr. Melanie Livet, Co-PI and research faculty at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, oversees the implementation and evaluation of the four interventions. The diabetes intervention will be launched in November, with the remaining interventions implemented over the next few months. This initiative provides a proving ground to expand the delivery of evidence-based interventions to achieve better care for patients through community pharmacies.