Thrifty White Pharmacy's Medication Synchronization program lifts the medication adherence rate well above the industry average for patients with chronic disease states, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.


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Study: Thrifty White program boosts adherence

January 28th, 2013

PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Thrifty White Pharmacy's Medication Synchronization program lifts the medication adherence rate well above the industry average for patients with chronic disease states, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Thrifty White said Monday that depending on the drug class, patients enrolled in the program had a three to six times greater likelihood of adherence, the research found.

Under the regional drug chain's Medication Synchronization program, the pharmacy team works with patients to coordinate all of their maintenance drugs so that all of the prescriptions can be picked up at the store once a month instead of in multiple trips. Ten days before their prescriptions are filled, customers get a call from the pharmacy to confirm the prescriptions due to be filled and to review any possible medication changes. On the scheduled pickup day, the pharmacist reviews the prescription regimen, monitors changes from any doctor or hospital visits, and checks for any possible drug interactions.

Data for the Virginia Commonwealth University study was collected retrospectively from the Thrifty White prescription claims database over a 12-month period between 2011 and 2012. Study patients were selected based on having at least two fills for one of six chronic medication classes — ACEIs/ARBs, beta blockers, dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (CCBs), thiazide diuretics, metformin and statins — after enrollment in the drug chain's Appointment Based Model (ABM) program. Patients must have had at least two fills of the chronic medication on or after enrollment, with at least one fill occurring within the 30-day period prior to the enrollment date.

The Virginia Commonwealth University research said the analysis indicated significant improvements in adherence and persistence for the ABM patients versus the control-group patients for all of the chronic medication classes.

"Adherence, as measured by proportion of days covered, was significantly higher for the ABM patients," the study analysis report stated. "Depending on the drug class, patients enrolled in the program had 3.4 to 6.1 times greater odds of adherence as controls during the evaluation period. Nonpersistence was measured by calculating the likelihood that patients would stop taking their medicine. Control patients had a 52% to 73% greater likelihood of becoming nonpersistent compared to the ABM group, depending on drug class."

Thrifty White noted that patients who take their medications as prescribed with the Medication Synchronization Program are more likely to stay well, make fewer clinic visits and require fewer hospitalizations, reducing overall health care spending.

"The No. 1 problem of treating illness today is a patient's failure to take prescription medications correctly, regardless of patient age," Dave Rueter, executive vice president of human resources at Thrifty White, said in a statement. "By synchronizing all your prescriptions, patients are more adherent and compliant, leading to healthier outcomes and healthier patients."

In recent years, Thrifty White has made medication adherence its bailiwick. The chain, with 90 drug stores in the upper Midwest, offers patients free consultations to review their prescriptions and answer any questions they may have. And along with the Medication Synchronization program, Thrifty White offers such solutions as HealthyPackRx compliance packaging and Rx Timer caps to help improve patients' medication compliance.

Earlier this month, Thrifty White was recognized by Chain Drug Review for its innovation in pharmacy practice.

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