The Changing Roles of P&T Committees: A Look Back at the Last Decade and a Look Forward to 2020

Originally published at Pharmacy & Therapeutics – November 2014

The Changing Roles of P&T Committees:  Dr. Randy VogenbergMarket and regulatory changes in the last 10 years, as well as the Affordable Care Act, have resulted in significant modifications to health care delivery models.  Traditionally, P&T committees limited the impact of their decisions to the populations associated with their hospital or health plan; however, as hospitals have begun to transform into larger health systems and even integrated payer organizations, P&T committees must consider both inpatient and outpatient needs of patients in multiple hospitals and ambulatory care settings.  The function of the P&T committee has not necessarily changed, but its scope has expanded.  Considerations of quality, cost (reimbursement), and access (accreditation) affecting P&T committees over the past decade will become even more important as new drugs and biotech therapies enter the market and the shortage of primary care physicians intensifies.  Pharmacists, physical therapists, nurses, and physicians are assuming new leadership responsibilities, making them partners with P&T committees in improving clinical care and cost performance for health systems.


The health care environment is undergoing rapid change, posing an increasing number and mix of challenges for health care professionals.  As the health care system evolves, the pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committee is adapting in step.

Initially, the P&T committee arose in the hospital setting, spreading later to managed care payers.  In P&T in 2004, Balu et al reviewed the changing role of the P&T committee:

Pharmacy and therapeutics (P&T) committees evaluate the clinical use of medications and develop policies for managing access to them and for ensuring effective drug use and administration . … From the focus on rational medication choices to the practice of monitoring adverse drug reactions and operating within an organization’s budgetary limits, the duties of P&T committees have been continuously expanding and evolving.  Read more here