Walgreens study: Pharmacy interventions can help improve adherence for Medicare Part D patients
Reminder phone calls from pharmacists are effective in getting late-to-refill (LTR) older adults back on their medication regimen, a new Walgreens study shows.
Reminder phone calls from pharmacists are effective in getting late-to-refill (LTR) older adults back on their medication regimen, a new Walgreens study shows. The study of pharmacy patients enrolled in Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) found that individuals who were LTR their prescriptions and received reminder calls from their local pharmacists had nearly 23% higher adherence within the first 2 weeks of the expected refill date. In addition, they had higher adherence rates over a 1-year period. For Medicare Part D patients who exhibited nonadherent behavior, a LTR reminder call raised the number of adherent patients by about 3%. "Improving medication adherence is critical to controlling most medical conditions—and for many medical conditions, enhancing adherence can also reduce hospitalizations and related medical costs," said Harry Leider, MD, chief medical officer, Walgreens. "This research provides further evidence of the positive impact we can have through targeted initiatives, such as the late-to-refill program, to help make our patients healthier and happier." The randomized control study involved more than 735,000 patients who exhibited nonadherent behavior, defined as not refilling at least 3 days before an expected refill date. Patients were assigned to an intervention group and a control group, using Walgreens pharmaceutical claims data from 2015 to estimate the effect of LTR calls by pharmacists on short-term and annual adherence. Results of the study are published online in Patient Preference & Adherence.