CVS Caremark-sponsored study sheds greater light on medication nonadherence
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The results of the CVS Caremark-sponsored review of e-prescriptions, which revealed an issue of primary nonadherence to prescription medications, is yet one more step toward a weapon in the fight against medication nonadherence.
(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark-sponsored review of e-Rxs uncovers issue of primary nonadherence. For the full story, click here)
Nonadherence to prescribed medications is a significant drain on the U.S. healthcare system — an estimated $300 billion annually in preventable hospitalizations and patient illness.
CVS Caremark, in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard, has been aggressively looking to better understand patient behavior, with a special focus on medication adherence, to help curb the hefty preventable healthcare costs.
As the article states, the study found that 24% of patients given a new medication by their physician do not fill the prescription. What’s especially important about the findings is that most prior research examined patients who do not take medications as prescribed after filling a first prescription; this study, thanks to the technology of e-prescribing, focused on new prescriptions.
The study, which evaluated more than 423,000 e-prescriptions, also found that prescriptions sent directly to pharmacies or mail-order systems are more likely to be filled than e-prescriptions that doctors print out and give to patients. This finding further illustrates that pharmacies, in order to meet the complex needs of payers and patients, especially those with chronic conditions, will need to adapt and invest.
CVS Caremark stated in a separate report, titled “Insights 2011: Advancing the Science of Pharmacy Care,” that “over the last few years, e-prescribing has proliferated; 250,000 physicians transmitted 280 million prescriptions electronically in 2010 — nearly 50% more than the year before.” Going forward, “enhanced data connectively will be crucial — between prescriber and pharmacy and between the pharmacy and payer or other stakeholder, such as an ACO,” CVS Caremark stated in the report.
Medicare Part B monthly premium, deductible prices decrease
WASHINGTON — Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.
This year’s Medicare Part B premium is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees, HHS said. Additionally, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.
“The Affordable Care Act is helping to keep Medicare strong and affordable,” HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. “People with Medicare are seeing higher quality benefits, better healthcare choices, and lower costs. Health reform is also strengthening the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and cracking down on Medicare fraud.”
GPhA shows support for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
WASHINGTON — Saturday is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and the country’s largest lobbying group representing the generic drug industry is expressing its support.
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said its support for the program was part of a commitment to work with such stakeholders as doctors, parents, law enforcement, lawmakers and industry to try and stop diversion of prescription drugs in the United States. According to the 2009 National Study of Drug Use and Health, the problem of prescription drug abuse primarily stems from drugs that are legally prescribed and available in the home.
"With recent studies showing that as many as 70% of people abusing prescription drugs were doing so with products they obtained from a friend or relative, it is imperative that we act now to ensure that these medications are not falling into the wrong hands," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "The DEA’s National Prescription Take-Back Day is an excellent example of the multi-stakeholder collaboration that is needed to tackle this problem."
The DEA program will involve nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies and will collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The first two National Prescription Take Back Days collected more than 309 tons of pills, according to the GPhA.