In the previous years, America has seen a sharp increase in the number of medications used by its citizens. Research gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others, show:
- The number of prescription medications dispensed has increased more than 50% from 1996 to 2006.
- The percentage of Americans who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased by 10% over the last decade.
- The use of multiple prescription drugs increased by 20%.
- The use of five or more drugs increased by 70%.
As more medications are being dispensed, healthcare leaders have also documented an increased incidence of drug-related morbidity and mortality. Medication-related problems are a significant public health issue within the healthcare system. In the year 2000, incidence estimates suggested that more than 1.5 million preventable medication-related adverse events occurred each year in the United States which accounted for an excess of $177 billion dollars in healthcare spending. This is more than twice the amount spent in 1995 when it was reported to be $76.6 billion.
On December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA). In that Act, MTM was created. However, when initially created, there was not a concise description to the service. It was not until 2004 when 11 national pharmacy organizations developed a precise definition for the act which states: Medication Therapy Management is a distinct service or group of services that optimize therapeutic outcomes for individual patients.