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E-DRUG: Rural clinical pharmacy in the US

Dear E-druggers,

Joel Lexchin posted an abstract of the following reference, as part of his
response to a call for references on pricing policy:
Author:   Kurtzman, M.  Heltzer, N.  Counts, R.
Institution :School of Pharmacy, Univ. of New Mexico, Taos, New Mexico
87571. (NOTE: This should be PMS Central Pharmacy, not UNM)
Title:  Model for the development of rural pharmaceutical services.
Source: American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy.  34(Feb): p 163-166. 

This citation brought back many memories, since I was director of the
program discussed in the abstract - PMS Central Pharmacy - for nearly
ten years prior to joining Management Sciences for Health.  Before
becoming PMS CP director, I was "Special Projects Coordinator", and in
fact editing (and ghostwriting) of the article cited was my very first
assignment when I joined the program in 1976.  

I do believe the model that was developed in the US southwest,  for
financing and providing health care and pharmaceutical services to rural
community health centers and small hospitals,  continues to have real
potential for wider application around the world.  

For those who don't know the US southwest, many of the remote areas
of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and peri-urban areas along
the Mexican border have health problems and service gaps that would
not be unfamiliar to those working in "developing countries".  The
solutions and management systems that were developed and refined
over nearly twenty years are worth considering in countries which have
problems supporting health services in either rural or urban areas.   .

When I was working in New Mexico, we hosted a couple of study tours
financed by USAID (both from Zaire, as I remember); more recently, the
MSH Drug Management Program has managed a study tour for Russians
to learn about the community health center programs.  
If any e-druggers are interested in more information on how the PMS
Central Pharmacy program and community health centers in general
evolved and were sustained (and how the principles might be applicable
to other settings), please contact me by e-mail.

Jim Rankin
Director, MSH Drug Management Program

One of the most useful recent reference I know of on reference pricing
is the spring 1994 issue of Health Care Financing Review (Volume 15,
#3), published by the US Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Care Financing Administration.  The journal is available through the
US Government Printing Office.  

If anyone needs copies of the relevant articles, and cannot obtain them
from the official source, let me know.

Jim Rankin 

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