Inside This Issue - News
NACDS gives backing to Rx adherence alliance
May 20th, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has joined forces with advocates for patients, providers and health plans in an alliance designed to highlight the role pharmacy can play in improving wellness and curbing health care costs.
The newly formed “Prescriptions for a Healthy America: A Partnership for Advancing Medication Adherence,” says its primary goal is to work with policy makers in Washington to improve medication adherence.
“At NACDS, we are seeing ever-greater awareness among policy makers about the benefits of boosting medication adherence, and the launch of the partnership is ideally timed to help build that momentum for the good of patient health,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson says. “We appreciate the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with the Partnership members on an issue that rightfully could be considered one of the most pressing health challenges and opportunities of the day.”
In addition to NACDS, the associations involved in the partnership include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Among the companies that have joined the alliance are Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, AstraZeneca PLC, CVS Caremark Corp. and the packaging company MWV. Members say several health insurers are also considering joining the group.
Alliance members say driving adherence can go a long way toward controlling the nation’s health care spending.
According to NEHI (formerly the New England Healthcare Institute) nonadherence leads to an estimated $290 billion in avoidable health care costs every year.
To drive home the need for better adherence programs, the partnership released poll results showing that nearly two-thirds of patients who take medication do not properly adhere to prescription regimens.
More than half of the patients surveyed for the poll said they would be more likely to take their medications as prescribed if they were more informed about the potential negative health consequences of nonadherence.
“NACDS’ research fits nicely with the poll results released by the partnership,” Anderson says. “Polls commissioned by NACDS and by others have shown consistently that community pharmacists are widely trusted and accessible, and that face-to-face interactions with pharmacists are extremely valued, particularly by those in greatest need."
NACDS’ research is backed up by two recent studies from separate government agencies.
Late last year the Congressional Budget Office concluded that a 1% increase in medication use can save $1.7 billion in overall health care costs.
That finding was followed up in February by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services study of Medicare beneficiaries with certain lung or heart conditions that found patients enrolled in medication therapy management services — particularly those who received comprehensive medication reviews — experienced significant improvement in the quality of their drug regimens and had lower health care costs.