For diabetes patients, CVS Caremark Corp. finds that a medication adherence program can make a big difference.

CVS Caremark, diabetes, adherence program, medication adherence, pharmacy, prescription, Troy Brennan

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CVS: Rx adherence efforts help diabetes patients

November 11th, 2009

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – For diabetes patients, CVS Caremark Corp. finds that a medication adherence program can make a big difference.

The company on Wednesday said a review of data tracking its diabetes drug adherence program found that 75.6% of patients continuing on a diabetes therapy who participated in the adherence program maintained optimal adherence to their prescribed therapy, compared with 61.2% in the control group.

In addition, the study found that patients newly prescribed a diabetes medication who also participated in the adherence program achieved a first-fill persistency rate of 80%, which was 8% higher than the control group.

CVS Caremark noted that the research also showed that for every $1 spent on medication for the treatment of diabetes, $7 is saved in disease-related costs. Diabetes is associated with increased risk for a variety of complications, including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

"Our data illustrates that direct, focused interventions to help patients with a chronic disease such as diabetes stay on their medications work," CVS Caremark executive vice president and chief medical officer Troy Brennan said in a statement. "CVS Caremark's comprehensive adherence program is designed to engage all enrolled plan participants in their care by providing disease and therapy education and outreach to help them improve medication adherence, resulting in improved outcomes and reduced overall costs."

Members of CVS Caremark adherence programs, whether they use mail order or go to CVS/pharmacy stores for their prescriptions, receive timely messaging and interventions to help them stick to their medication regimens for chronic conditions. Communications include IVR and Web refill reminders, renewals and pickup prompts, and letters about the importance of staying on a prescribed therapy sent to patients who have stopped filling a maintenance prescription, as well as to their health care provider.

Citing figures from the American Diabetes Association, CVS Caremark noted that nearly 24 million Americans have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and another 57 million people are considered prediabetic.