Innovators in Community Pharmacy

PRICE Clinic

The PRICE Clinic and Mercy Medical Group with the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy

Background
Dr. Marilyn Stebbins is a health sciences clinical professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy's Department of Clinical Pharmacy and a co-principal investigator of the grant supporting the Partners in D program. Dr. Stebbins, with her colleagues, Tim Cutler, PharmD and Shalini Lynch, PharmD, focus their clinical work and research on the underserved, with the ultimate goal of improving medication access and quality medication care to those most in need-the elderly and those with low incomes and limited English language skills. Dr. Stebbins also serves as pharmacy utilization director for the Catholic Healthcare West Medical Foundation's Mercy Medical Group, a 170-provider group practice based in Sacramento, California. In this role, she designed, developed, and currently manages a drug utilization system in a managed care environment.

The PRICE Clinic
In January 2001, The Pharmacy Department implemented the PRICE Clinic (Pharmacists Review to Increase Cost-Effectiveness) within Mercy Medical Group. The Clinic uses pharmacists, physicians, staff, and volunteers to help elderly patients decrease out-of-pocket drug expenses while ensuring that patients receive clinically appropriate drug regimens. Services are provided at the point of care. Patients access the clinic, free of charge, through self-referral or referral from their primacy care provider (PCP) or specialist. Patients are scheduled for 30-minute clinic visits with the pharmacist in the same location as their PCP. PRICE Clinic operates at the ten clinic locations in the Sacramento area. This is convenient for patients and facilitates pharmacists' access to medical records and PCPs for consultations and medication changes.

During the half-hour consultation the patient receives a comprehensive review of their medication regimen to ensure appropriateness and cost-effectiveness. Some of examples of the cost-saving strategies used by the PRICE Clinic are:

  • Switching brand name medications to the equivalent generic medication
  • Switching to a lower cost brand name medication
  • Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) that are sponsored by the drug manufacturer
  • Converting monthly prescriptions to a mail order program
  • Medicare Part D and low-income subsidy assistance
  • Medication therapy management services

Since 2001, the PRICE Clinic has assisted more than 2,000 senior patients. These patients have saved an average of $1,440 per year in out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

Since the advent of Medicare Part D, PRICE Clinic has been reengineered to provide medication therapy management services using the interventions and the framework of the 11 pharmacy organizations.

For the PRICE Clinic brochure, click here.

Contact Information:
Marilyn Stebbins, Pharm.D.
Pharmacy Utilization Director
CHW Medical Foundation/ Mercy Medical Group
Clinical Professor of Pharmacy
UCSF School of Pharmacy
email marilyn.stebbins@chw.edu