Why unintentional misuse of prescription drugs is the 4th leading cause of death in the US
MOORESTOWN, N.J., March 15, 2018 – Tabula Rasa HealthCare, Inc. (“TRHC”) (NASDAQ: TRHC), Chairman and CEO Calvin H. Knowlton, PhD, recently conducted an interview with NPR’s Lisa Davis, host of It’s Your Health radio show, which has aired on local stations around the country. The segment provided an informative discussion of the risk of taking multiple drugs simultaneously, as well as the impact of one’s own genomic make-up on medication safety.
Dr. Knowlton co-founded TRHC in 2009, a healthcare technology company optimizing medication safety by deploying new medication risk identification and mitigation software solutions and novel, proprietary medication decision support tools.
Ms. Davis and Dr. Knowlton discussed the dangers of prescribing opioids to patients who simultaneously are taking other medications that may interfere with how the body processes these drug combinations. Multi-drug interactions relating to opioids can give rise to serious adverse drug events – even death. These types of multi-drug interactions typically are not identified using traditional drug-interaction database services.
Dr. Knowlton described how the Company’s medication safety software identifies concomitant medications that compete with opioids for similar metabolic pathways resulting in an inactivation of the analgesic attribute of opioid medication. Such multi-drug competition leads to higher opioid dosing, increased medical spend, diminished pain relief, and unintended opioid misuse.
As part of the education and intervention process with providers, TRHC risk-stratifies members using MedWise Advisor® to identify those at high risk for multi-drug interactions in combination with opioids. TRHC’s simultaneous, multi-drug, Medication Risk Mitigation Matrix® identifies these interactions, and is being used to mitigate the dangers of opioids and the risk of adverse drug events. TRHC then collaborates with physicians to reduce patients’ medication risk.
Ms. Davis asked Dr. Knowlton what made him start the Company and take on such challenges. His answer was the experience his father, and subsequently the family, had when his father was given “a cocktail of 9 to 12 medications” which caused an unintentional overdose of some of the medications. He concluded, only when we fully understand the risk of a combination of medications are we able to lower that risk.
Bob East or Asher Dewhurst