Retail News Breaks Archives
CVS: Rx adherence aids employee attendance
July 16th, 2012
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – New research by CVS Caremark Corp. and Truven Health Analytics find that employees who stick to their medication regimens are less likely to miss work.
CVS Caremark said that the study, published Monday in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that employees with chronic conditions who followed their prescribed medications had up to seven fewer days away from work annually — including absenteeism and short-term disability days — than those who didn't follow their prescriptions. That translated into estimated annual savings of up to nearly $1,700 per adherent employee.
The company noted that such insight on medication adherence is significant given that chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol impact almost 70% of working-age U.S. adults.
"These research findings clearly show that employees who receive appropriate medical care and follow their doctor's directions about taking their medication are healthier and more productive," Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "These results are one more piece of the puzzle illustrating the impact of medication adherence in improving health outcomes while managing overall health care costs."
For the study, researchers examined data on prescription drug use, absenteeism and short-term disability for over 100,000 employees at more than 16 midsize to large employers. Employees included in the study were diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol or asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). CVS said the research found sizable differences between adherent and nonadherent employees in the number of short-term disability days taken for all conditions studied, and between adherent and nonadherent employees in the number of absenteeism days for those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and asthma/COPD.
"This is one of the first studies to be able to quantify the impact of medication adherence on worker absenteeism," stated study co-author Ginger Carls, senior research leader at Truven Health Analytics. "The results provide a clear message that employees with common chronic conditions who take their medications as directed miss fewer days at work, resulting in potential cost savings for employers."
This study stems from ongoing CVS Caremark-sponsored research on why many consumers don't take their prescriptions as directed and developing solutions to help patients use their medications effectively.