Inside This Issue - News
Emphasis on medication adherence intensifies
January 17th, 2011
NEW YORK – Two recent studies from CVS Caremark Corp. and a call from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores for further research into the matter are helping to draw attention to the importance of medication adherence.
“There have been many studies through the years that suggest adherence can save on health care costs, but the issue has not been central to health care cost discussions because those studies did not establish a causal link,” CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Troyen Brennan says about the latest study, released earlier this month.
“What we found is that although adherent patients spend more on medications — as much as $1,000 more annually — across the board, they spend significantly less for their overall health care costs,” he says.
The latest CVS Caremark research, which analyzes annual pharmacy costs and medical costs over a three-year period for patients with one or more of four chronic diseases, concludes that patients who take medications as doctors direct may save the health care system as much as $7,800 per patient annually.
The findings come less than a month after CVS Caremark released the results of another study showing that pharmacists at a retail store are the most influential health care voice in getting patients to take medicine as prescribed.
“No matter what the intervention, actively encouraging medication adherence for chronic disease should be a top priority,” says M. Christopher Roebuck, CVS Caremark director of strategic research and lead author of the study.
Meanwhile, the NACDS Foundation is seeking proposals to study “primary medication nonadherence,” or the failure of a patient to fill or pick up a newly prescribed medication.
“[We] seek to examine primary medication nonadherence rates and ways in which the health care system can be utilized to improve overall patient health outcomes and medication adherence rates,” foundation president Edith Rosato says.