Steve Small, unit coordinator of the WVU School of Pharmacy's Rational Drug Therapy Program (RDTP) retired this month, his last day was April 15.
Small joined the School in 1995 to help develop and implement RDTP, a clinical, evidence-based prior authorization program, for the West Virginia Bureau of Medical Services (Medicaid).
RDTP started with just one person (Small) anticipating about 50-60 telephone prior authorization requests per day. From that fledgling start, the program has grown to 12 pharmacists and five pharmacy technicians handling 1,200 to 1,400 calls per day from pharmacists and health care provider offices from all over West Virginia for the state Medicaid and PEIA programs, and DXC Corporation (formerly Unisys Corporation). The School of Pharmacy is the only school in the country with such a program that has partnerships with major state agencies.
RDTP saves West Virginia millions of dollars in pharmaceutical costs every year and contributes to appropriate, safe, rational and cost-effective drug therapy for nearly half of the state's population.
In addition to his work with RDTP, Small helped to develop the Safe and Effective Management of Pain (SEMP) program to combat opioid overuse and misuse in 2016.
"As I reflect on Steve's service contributions during the past 24 years, I can without hesitation say that there are very few people in West Virginia who have made such a dramatic and enduring impact on pharmaceutical use," said Suresh Madhavan, chair of the School's Pharmaceutical Systems and Policy Department. "The impact has not only been financial in terms of saving the State tens of millions of dollars annually, but also in terms of improving the quality of medication use and patient outcomes of West Virginians. Thus, for well over two decades now, he has served WVU, the School of Pharmacy, State government agencies, WV citizens and the pharmacy profession with great devotion and loyalty."
Small graduated from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy and in 1998 with a Master of Science Degree in Pharmacy Administration.