Magazine article Drug Topics

Collaboration May Improve Medication Adherence

Magazine article Drug Topics

Collaboration May Improve Medication Adherence

Article excerpt


Collaboration between pharmacy benefit managers and community pharmacists may improve patient compliance to vital drug regimens.

Patients who fail to adhere to prescribed medications cost the U.S. healthcare system an estimated $100 billion annually, according to a study published online in The American Journal of Managed Care. Researchers found that pharmacists who received regular alerts regarding patient adherence gaps were able to dose more gaps than pharmacists who did not receive regular alerts.

"Collaborating with community pharmacists and providing necessary information to drive adherence and reduce omissions of essential therapies helps to improve health outcomes for patients," according to Glen Stettin, MD, senior vice president of Clinical Research and New Solutions at Express Scripts, Inc.

Through prescription claims, Dr. Stettin, along with Daniel Tbuchette, PharmD, MA assistant professor of pharmacy practice at University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, and colleagues identified 2,500 patients with diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, or heart failure who had gaps in medication adherence and omitted essential therapies. Patients were assigned to a participating pharmacy.

A total of 92 pharmacies participated in the study. Of those, 45 pharmades received training on disease management, motivational interviewing, and communication. In addition, they were notified daily through an online portal of any patient gaps in care. The pharmacists then addressed these gaps directly with each patient and documented each interaction using the web-based tool. …

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