IPRO Champions Statewide Drug Events Task Force

IPRO is launching a major initiative aimed at reducing warfarin-related adverse drug events across the state of New York. As the Medicare-funded Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for New York, IPRO is charged with working with providers to improve the quality of care provided to New York’s seniors. Anticoagulation therapy is prescribed for the prevention of harmful and life threatening blood clots. The most commonly prescribed anticoagulant is warfarin (Coumadin). Although anticoagulants can be life- saving when used appropriately, they also carry the risk of serious bleeding. A study published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that warfarin-whether used alone or in combination with other drugs-is the medication most often associated with preventable adverse drug events among the elderly. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is directing IPRO to focus on supporting measurable reductions in warfarin-related adverse drug events affecting New York’s Medicare population. Accordingly, IPRO has launched the New York State Anticoagulation Coalition, led by nationally recognized leaders in antithrombotic therapy, including Jack Ansell, MD, and Elaine Hylek, MD. “I am delighted to participate in this important endeavor,” said Dr. Ansell, founder of the Anticoagulation Forum and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. “As demonstrated in multiple studies, warfarin therapy has a narrow therapeutic range and requires expert dose management to keep patients within that range so that complications, such as bleeding, are prevented. Management is complex and labor intensive and may not be performed well. This effort by IPRO, to reduce warfarin-related adverse events by improving dose management, is a critical step to the overall improvement of anticoagulation care, especially for New York seniors who are the major recipients of anticoagulation therapy.” For more information regarding the New York State Anticoagulation Coalition, please contact Dr. Darren Triller, IPRO’s Senior Director of Drug Safety at dtriller@nyqio.sdps.org.