Inside This Issue - News
Adherence up at Thrifty White
February 18th, 2013
PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Thrifty White Pharmacy’s Medication Synchronization (Med Sync) program has significantly boosted adherence, a new study shows.
Patients enrolled in Med Sync were 3.4 to 6.1 times more likely to adhere to prescriptions than a control group, the Virginia Commonwealth University study found.
“Medication Synchronization is a huge opportunity for our industry to improve the health of patients and at the same time lower total medical costs,” said Thrifty White president and chief executive officer Bob Narveson.
Moving diabetes patients from the 40% to 59% adherence level to the 80%+ level saves $4,091 per patient per year, he said.
“When you consider that there are 25.8 million diabetics in the United States, the potential savings of a widespread appointment-based model medication adherence program are astronomical,” he said.
A key to the success of Med Sync — which has over 21,000 members — is face-to-face pharmacist contact every month. That creates an opportunity to provide medication therapy management and immunizations as well as reinforcing medication adherence.
At the same time, the predesignated prescription pickup date means one trip to the pharmacy each month rather than the inconvenience of multiple trips. And pharmacists counsel on patients’ entire medication regimen rather than providing the typical counseling on each drug separately.
Meanwhile, Thrifty White makes up to three calls per month to patients to confirm prescriptions to be filled and to determine if there have been any changes. The monthly calls also give the pharmacy the chance to learn if there have been any physician visits or hospitalizations. Also, a reminder phone call is made when medications are ready for pickup.
The chain’s Centralized Patient Care Center is staffed with highly trained pharmacy technicians and pharmacists to enroll patients in Med Sync and make calls to improve adherence.
Doctors are notified when their patients are enrolled in Med Sync, fostering Thrifty White’s ability to work collaboratively with physicians and payers to improve health and reduce costs.
“This study proves that the pharmacist can influence patient behavior and plays a critical role in managing chronic disease states, which account for 75% of all medical expense in the United States,” Thrifty White executive vice president of pharmacy Tim Weippert says.