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Clinical pharmacists in collaboration with primary care providers at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) have methodically “deprescribed” more than 20,000 medication regimens in 2 years, lessening patients’ pill burden and enabling the organization to reallocate resources, program leaders said in February.
Medical Center Director Margie A. Scott said deprescribing the medications led to about a $3.5 million annualized cost avoidance for CAVHS.
“It’s put back into the system to serve more veterans,” Scott said of the money, emphasizing that it is cost avoidance, not cost savings. “So not only is it good for the patient, but it’s good for other patients.”
With 24 months of data accumulated, program leaders reported an average of 3.15 fewer prescriptions per veteran.