This article was originally features in Wildcat Country 2.0, a special edition insert in the Arizona Republic and Arizona Daily Star.
What began as a small student service project at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy 12 years ago has grown to provide much-needed personalized medication therapy management (MTM) services to more than 6 million Americans across the nation.
Established in 2006 by Kevin Boesen then a College of Pharmacy faculty member, the bold vision for the Medication Management Center (MMC) was to transform pharmacy practice and pioneer a new model for patient care by better managing the health of patients with multiple conditions, medications and providers. The center's staff developed proprietary health-information technology that analyzes millions of prescription records and other medical data daily. Using this software, potential problems are prioritized based on urgency and complexity. Then, highly trained pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy interns - students enrolled in UA pharmacy and pre-pharmacy programs - conduct phone consultations with patients and their doctors to help identify, prevent and resolve medication-related problems.
This model has dramatically improved patient care while creating hundreds of jobs for health-care professionals and students-in-training.
"They weren't any MTM programs or models to follow in 2005 and the industry was very much taking a wait-and-see approach. I knew there was an opportunity to be first to market if I could come up with something," said Boesen.
In 2013, the technology and business model was spun-out into the new Tucson-based company, SinfoníaRx, with Boesen as founder and CEO. Since its inception, SinfoníaRx has returned $33 million to the UA and created more than 300 UA jobs, while saving more than $1 billion in health-care costs. It expanded to four medication management programs at partnering universities in Ohio and Florida; two in Arizona and a fifth opening in Texas in 2017. Not surprisingly, four of the five programs are run by UA College of Pharmacy alumni.
This October, SinfoníaRx was acquired by Tabula Rasa HealthCare (NASDAQ: TRHC), a public health care company that provides individualized, data-driven technology solutions.
Taking it to the streets. Research bent on solving practical problems turned into a student-developed startup to manage prescriptions safely. From its simple beginnings as the MMC to the acquisition by Tabula Rasa HealthCare, these organizations have successfully pioneered medication therapy management.