Humana Focuses on Potential Drug-to-Drug Interactions
Health care providers may soon notice an increase in communications from Humana regarding potentially problematic combinations of medications. If Humana's records indicate that a Humana-covered patient was prescribed medications that are considered potentially problematic when taken in combination as identified in standard drug compendia, either the pharmacy will contact the prescriber for additional approval, or the prescriber will receive a faxed clinical alert from Humana. Humana is focusing on drug interactions that should be avoided.
A "drug-to-drug interaction" is defined as an occurrence in which at least two drugs taken by a patient leads to:
- A clinically significant toxicity that is characteristic of one or any drug present, or;
- The interference with the effectiveness of one or any of the drugs
Health care providers who are contacted by the pharmacy or Humana regarding a potentially problematic combination of medications are respectfully asked to take the following actions:
- Consider providing the patient with a medication list to assist the patient with tracking medications prescribed and treatment by other health care providers, including any over-the-counter (OTC) medications. A sample is available at www.safemedication.com.
- Make adjustments to the patient's medications, if appropriate. Humana has posted two lists of medications with potentially problematic combinations on Humana.com/providers. After choosing "Humana's Drug List" under the "Pharmacy Tools" heading, look for either of the following:
- "Point-of-Sale Medications" list - This list includes those medication combinations that will result in a denial at the pharmacy and will require additional prescriber approval.
- "Clinical Alert Medications" list - This list includes those medication combinations that will result in a clinical alert from Humana. Please note: Prescribers may continue to receive clinical alerts from Humana until their patient's medications are adjusted.