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September 1992

Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee: Cost-Containment Considerations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(9):1773-1775. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400210015003

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee is a frequently used mechanism for health care organizations to meet mandated standards. The control that the committee has over the formulary is often seen as a potential way of controlling the expenditures for drugs. As the Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee is the means for the clinical staff to have an effect as to what agents are available to practitioners, it is incumbent on the committee members to have a clear idea of what their role should be in cost containment. An important concept that impacts on cost is that optimal health benefit is not necessarily the result of maximum expenditure. The welfare of the patient is paramount to all in the health care field; however, it is the task of clinicians to determine what constitutes optimal health benefit and to act as agents of the patient. Clinicians must maintain patient care as their top priority. Although health care expenditures are an extremely important issue, quality of patient care cannot be subrogated to a secondary concern.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:1773-1775)

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