“Do you have any questions about your prescription?” asks your neighborhood pharmacist — while there are 15 people waiting behind you. Pitt faculty and staff who do have questions about medications but aren’t asking them when fulfilling their prescriptions can take advantage of a new service: the Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) program.
Developed by John Kozar, assistant vice chancellor of university benefits in the Office of Human Resources, and Luke Berenbrok, assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics at the School of Pharmacy, the program gives faculty and staff the option to speak with a pharmacist about medications, immunizations and other prescription considerations.
“We’re answering questions and concerns that maybe somebody was intimidated to ask their busy pharmacist about, screening for drug interactions that might not have been noticed anywhere else,” said Natalie Capozzolo, a CMM benefit pharmacist who joined the program as it enters its second year.
Capozzolo graduated from Pitt Pharmacy and worked for CVS Health as a retail pharmacist and pharmacy manager before transitioning to a telephonically-based medication therapy management role. She looks forward to bringing that expertise to consultations with staff and faculty from all Pitt campuses.
Those confidential consultations are generally scheduled in one-hour blocks but can take anywhere from a half an hour to 45 minutes. Consultations can cover topics such as past and current medical histories to dietary and herbal supplements.
Pennsylvania state law restricts pharmacists from prescribing new drugs, but Berenbrok and Capozzolo can help patients by calling primary care physicians on their behalf to discuss any prescription change recommendations, or help develop action plans with patients who wish to have those conversations with their doctors themselves. Some questions might require only one conversation, but there is no stated limit to the number of consultations Pitt employees can request.
Besides discussing medications, Capozollo is also excited to work with patients preparing to travel abroad by providing health services like immunization recommendations.
“We’re trying to make the benefit really meaningful to the employee,” said Berenbrok.