Patients with complex therapies struggle to stay adherent

Patients with chronic heart disease are likely to have several doctors and take nearly a dozen medications that are filled in at least two different pharmacies, resulting in many patients struggling to keep their medications straight, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and CVS Caremark.

Among the potential solutions: Create a “pharmacy home” to coordinate pharmacy care from a single point of contact. Researchers also said there is a need to synchronize medication regimens for patients because “those who make numerous trips to the pharmacy to pick up their medications, or fill prescriptions at different pharmacies, may have difficulty taking their medications as prescribed.”

Researchers found that during a three-month period, “10% of patients filled prescriptions for 23 or more medications ... and 11 or more different drug classes, had prescriptions written by four or more prescribers, filled these prescriptions at two pharmacies and made 11 or more visits to those pharmacies.”

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