2013 State of the States: Adherence Report

The 2013 State of the States: Adherence Report reviews medication adherence in the United States across three unique population groups: Members of health plans, employer-sponsored plans and Medicare Part D plans. Read more >>

Source CVS Caremark, Pharmacy Care Research Institute

Disruptions: Medicine That Monitors You

They look like normal pills, oblong and a little smaller than a daily vitamin. But if your doctor writes a prescription for these pills in the not-too-distant future, you might hear a new twist on an old cliché: “Take two of these ingestible computers, and they will e-mail me in the morning.” Read more >>

Source New York Times

IMS Health Study Identifies $200+ Billion Annual Opportunity from Using Medicines More Responsibly

U.S. report finds recent improvements in patient adherence, antibiotic prescribing and generics use; Advances observed in stakeholder collaboration and incentive alignment

Avoidable costs of more than $200 billion are incurred each year in the U.S. healthcare system as a result of medicines not being used responsibly by patients and healthcare professionals, according to a new study released today by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. This represents 8 percent of the country’s total annual healthcare expenditures and amounts to millions of avoidable hospital admissions, outpatient treatments, pharmaceutical prescriptions and emergency room visits for patients. More>>

Source IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics

More than a spoonful of sugar

How behavioral economics helps the medicine go down and improves healthcare adherence.

People are not always very disciplined when it comes to taking medication. Whether it’s to cure an illness, prevent one from worsening or to manage a chronic condition, it is estimated that around half of patients forget to take they prescription medication. More>>

Source Research.

Savings without changes

In a health care system struggling with controlling costs and a fiscal situation focused on cutting and changing government programs, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, known as Part D, stands alone by saving money. Not only on track to cost nearly $350 billion, or 45 percent, less than initially projected over the first 10 years of the program, it is also reducing other health care costs within Medicare. Even the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has credited Part D as responsible for much of the slowdown in overall Medicare spending. The nonpartisan office has also reduced its 10-year forecast for Part D by over $100 billion in each of the last three years. More>>

Source The Hill

Many Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Don’t Follow Drug Regimens

Not using RA medications as directed takes a toll, researchers say.

Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) don’t take their oral medications – specifically disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and prednisone – as prescribed, leading to poor health outcomes, according to a study published in the June issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. More>>

Source Arthritis Today

Another go at medication adherence collaboration-but this one might make a difference

Council for Affordable Health Coverage brings many healthcare groups together.

Over the years, there have been many cross-organizational efforts at addressing medication adherence—the $290-billion problem for healthcare (says CVS Caremark), and the $188-billion lost revenue opportunity for pharma (says Capgemini). A new one, Prescriptions for a Healthy America (www.adhereforhealth.org), organized by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC), might stick: nearly 30 public-interest groups, lobbying organizations, payers, manufacturers and service providers have joined. Significantly, that list includes pharma companies (and PhRMA), the US Chamber of Commerce, physician societies and consumer groups—organizations that rarely come together. CAHC itself represents insurers and employer-payers, among others. More>>

Source Pharmaceutical Commerce

Nearly 30 Percent Of Women Fail To Pick Up New Prescriptions For Osteoporosis

Study offers new insights on patient and physician characteristics that contribute to osteoporosis medication adherence

Nearly 30 percent of women failed to pick up their bisphosphonate prescriptions, a medication that is most commonly used to treat osteoporosis and similar bone diseases, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published this week in the journal Osteoporosis International. The failure to pick up these newly prescribed medications, called primary nonadherence, can lead to an increased risk of fractures for these patients.

The study examined the electronic health records of 8,454 women, ages 55 years or older, who were Kaiser Permanente Southern California members between December 2009 and March 2011 and were prescribed a new bisphosphonate medication. It found that 29.5 percent of these women did not pick up their prescription within 60 days of the order date. In particular, older women and those who utilized the emergency department in the prior year were less likely to pick up their bisphosphonate prescription. However, women taking other prescription medications and those who had been hospitalized in the prior year were more likely to pick up their bisphosphonate prescription, according to the researchers.
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Sticking to Meds for Heart Disease Pays Dividends

By Todd Neale, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: March 27, 2013
Reviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner


Greater adherence to medications for primary and secondary prevention of coronary artery disease appears to improve outcomes and lower costs, a systematic review showed.

Although medication adherence was measured with various techniques, all primary and secondary prevention studies suggested that patients who were most adherent to their medication regimens had better outcomes compared with their less-adherent counterparts, according to Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.
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Blum Touts Drug Adherence As Part D Cost Saver

Inside Health Posted: March 21, 2013 

CMS Medicare chief Jonathan Blum touted improved drug adherence as a Medicare cost saver, saying that CMS analysis shows that efforts to lower the cost of medicine for people in Medicare’s coverage gap have reinforced CMS efforts to improve the delivery of care. Blum made the comments as part of CMS’ announcement that 6 million unique seniors have now saved a total $6 billion due to the rebate program authorized under the health reform law.

Not only does the program improve the financial health to beneficiaries, it is really a key part of CMS’ strategy to improve care delivery and lower costs, Blum says.

He further noted that when the Part D coverage gap rebate program was first established, many stakeholders raised concerns that it could result in increased drug spending — since the rebates would be provided for brand-name drugs that are often more expensive. However, Blum says that there are no signs that has happened. In fact, he says, Part D costs have remained flat for years and are expected to decline in 2014.
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