Provider Perceptions of Pharmacy Management

Lessons from the Military Health System

Published in: Medical Care, v. 42, no. 4, Apr. 2004, p. 361-366

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2004

by Peter Glassman, Terri Tanielian, Katherine M. Harris, Ana Suarez, Melissa A. Bradley, Sidney W. Atkinson, William Davies, Thomas R. Williams

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to contrast experiences and opinion of providers in military treatment facilities, where a single formulary is used, with those of community providers where multiple formularies and preferred lists are commonly encountered. STUDY DESIGN: The authors conducted cross-sectional surveys. SETTING: The study was conducted at military and community practices that serve military beneficiaries. PARTICIPANTS: They studied randomly selected clinicians, stratified by military treatment facility (MTF) size or number of military beneficiaries served. The final samples included 566 eligible MTF and 557 private clinicians, with 69% and 38% response rates, respectively. OUTCOME MEASURES: They wanted to determine experiences with and opinions of formularies and/or preferred lists and related policies. RESULTS: Sixty-three percent of military providers were very familiar with formulary content and 60% with nonformulary request procedures; 67% thought their formulary was up-to-date and 84% felt Pharmacy & Therapeutics (P&T) committees were responsive to providers. In contrast, 23% of community providers felt very familiar with (multiple) formulary content and 10% with nonformulary request procedures. Only 15% perceived that formularies were current and 34% thought P&T committees were responsive to providers. Statistically significant differences remained after analysis of potential bias. CONCLUSIONS: Community providers were less aware and less satisfied with pharmacy benefits management policies than military providers, likely as a result of their daily interactions with multiple, unrelated pharmacy management systems. Addressing the problems expressed by community providers is imperative for pharmacy benefits managers.

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