Electronic health records offer new ways to monitor medication nonadherence
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Catalina Health’s latest program and two previous studies illustrate the ways in which electronic health records and e-prescribing open the door for new ways to monitor medication nonadherence and, along with them, new ways to combat it.
(THE NEWS: Catalina Health addresses medication nonadherence with Health Consumer Journey. For the full story, click here.)
The Catalina program is an example of the kinds of technology-based, personalized approaches designed to get to the bottom of why patients don’t adhere to their medications.
It’s easy to point to medication non-adherence’s high cost – $290 billion per year to the U.S. economy, according to most sources – but harder to tackle the problem when it happens for a wide and complex variety of reasons.
An October study by Kaiser Permanente used electronic health records to monitor primary non-adherence, a seldom-explored facet of non-adherence in which patients receive new prescriptions on paper or electronically, but never drop the prescriptions off or pick up their drugs. Another October study, sponsored by CVS Caremark and also conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, used electronic prescribing data and found that 24% of patients given new medications by their doctors don’t fill them.
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More people with diabetes means more disease management ops at pharmacy
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If there are 366 million diabetics worldwide, that means that the U.S. piece of that sugar-free pie is 7.1%. And if the U.S. diabetes population grows by more than 50.8% over the next two decades, as the International Diabetes Foundation attests, that’ll mean there will be 38.6 million diabetics in this country by 2030. That’s a lot of diabetes education that needs to happen between now and then, and what better place to have that happen than at the neighborhood drug store?
(THE NEWS: IDF: 1-in-10 adults will have diabetes by 2030. For the full story, click here.)
Looping pharmacists into the diabetes disease management equation only makes sense — that diabetes patient is already visiting his or her local drug store for supplies and prescription medicines. According to a recent survey from the National Community Pharmacy Association, 81% of pharmacies reported that their average Medicare diabetes patient visits his or her independent community pharmacy two or more times per month for counseling and/or diabetes testing supplies. And the overwhelming majority (81%) of independent community pharmacies regularly deliver diabetes testing supplies to patients with 28% making 30 or more deliveries per month.
The growing diabetes epidemic means more opportunities for pharmacies to help patients live healthier lives by way of education, medication-therapy management and wellness programs. And these are opportunities many retail pharmacy operations are already seizing. Just in the past two weeks, Rite Aid was noted for its participation in community-based programs to combat Type 2 diabetes in the Washington, D.C. area along with UnitedHealth Group and the YMCA; CVS Caremark expanded its Pharmacy Advisor program to incorporate cardiovascular care in part because the success of the program in helping to manage diabetes lives; Rite Aid announced that a new diabetic-targeted, health-and-wellness-linked loyalty card Wellness+ to help people with diabetes manage their condition; and Meijer launched a chainwide effort to position its pharmacy staff as diabetes specialists.
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NACDS, NCPA urge rejection of administration’s Tricare plan in favor of more ‘balanced’ alternatives
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association announced that they have sent joint letters to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, encouraging the rejection of an Obama administration proposal that would “saddle Tricare beneficiaries with higher prices and penalize their utilization of community pharmacists.”
Under the Obama administration’s proposal, Tricare beneficiaries would pay 30% of the cost of their medications at a retail pharmacy without capping annual cost sharing, while mail-order prescriptions would include far lower out-of-pocket costs. The administration’s plan also would increase costs by ending the incentive for drug manufacturers to offer additional price concessions to the Department of Defense beyond those required by law, as the Tricare program would equalize cost sharing between preferred and nonpreferred medicines.
In the letters, NACDS and NCPA urged the committees to abandon that proposal and instead support other “balanced” policy alternatives to increase generic drug utilization, which would reduce costs without restricting patient access to healthcare professionals.
“Rather than instituting changes that unfairly penalize beneficiaries and drive up prescription drug costs, we urge you to increase generic dispensing rates in both the TRICARE retail and mail-order settings,” NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey wrote. “We feel strongly that a greater reliance on mail order will not only fail to produce the needed savings, but will also compromise patient care, increase waste and penalize those who wish to have their prescriptions filled at their local pharmacy.”
NACDS and NCPA noted that generic drug use in Tricare continues to lag behind other healthcare programs. The program could save $11 billion over 10 years by working with community pharmacists to maximize the appropriate use of generics and by holding its PBM accountable for generic drug dispensing rates, particularly at mail order. The associations believe that this cost savings should be considered as Congress prepares the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and deficit reduction proposals.
The US postal system is broken and may even close Sat deliveries...other carriers will do it at a greater price so not to go bankrupt. why do down with a sinking ship ???? November 2012 is too far away to continue with this incompetency.