Pharmacist interventions and patient adherence

BY Jim Frederick

The most effective way to get patients to stick with their medication regimens all the way through their therapy, it turns out, is to give the job to community pharmacists. That means giving them time and adequate compensation to do what they do best: counsel and monitor patients, one-on-one.

Behind the common-sense conclusion that pharmacists can be the most effective resource for improving patients’ drug adherence rates is a new study from CVS Caremark.

Researchers from the company, working with Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, concluded that the best way to boost adherence rates was through individual, one-on-one interventions with patients.

“Adherence interventions targeted to patients identified as nonadherent were more effective than broad interventions that cast a wide net to encompass all medication takers,” CVS reported on May 24.

Sarah Cutrona, a former research associate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, went further about the superior effectiveness of targeted, face-to-face encounters with patients by health professionals (i.e., pharmacists) for keeping patients on the path to better outcomes through medication therapy. “Without the benefit of identifying patients and their specific barriers to adherence, [broad-based intervention programs] may be too general to motivate individual patients to change their medication taking behavior,” she said.

Researchers studied nearly 60 peer-reviewed articles on the effectiveness of various types of adherence programs for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. What they found was that “dynamic interventions [32%] and focused interventions [25%] were more likely to show impact on adherence as compared to broad interventions [18%],” according to CVS Caremark.

This kind of targeted initiative — looking into the issue of patient noncompliance and ways to overcome it — is one beneficial byproduct of the unique, dual operating model CVS Caremark pursues as both a retail pharmacy giant and a pharmacy benefit manager with national reach. The company can mount these kinds of large-scale research projects because its reach as a pharmacy and managed-care powerhouse is wide enough to touch many points along the continuum of care and draw conclusions from the data it gathers along that chain of care.

That’s why CVS Caremark researchers are able to conclude that the company’s drug adherence programs saved its PBM clients $2.4 billion last year “due to improved medication adherence for chronic conditions.”

All well and good in a perfect world. But do pharmacists in most community practice settings have the time to actively intervene in drug adherence and monitoring programs? And does the current pharmacy reimbursement model followed by most health plan payers support these programs? If not now, is the payment model at least evolving to that kind of outcomes-based system? Or are payers still, by and large, locked into silos that reward short-term cost cutting in contract negotiations over the long-term savings and healthier patients that pharmacists can help deliver, if given the opportunity?


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Exotic Food Co. introduces Exotic GojiWater line

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Exotic Food Co. has introduced new drinks to its lineup of all-natural functional beverages.

The company said its Exotic GojiWater line, made with real goji berry juice, are lightly sweetened with cane sugar and honey, and are free of artificial flavors and colors. Packaged in 8.5-oz. recyclable bottles, the line includes goji berry juice and apple; goji berry juice and grape; goji berry juice and mangosteen; and goji berry juice and tropical fruit varieties.

The company said its GojiWaters builds on its current portfolio of all-nautral beverages, including the Exotic CocoWater and Exotic AloeWater lines.


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CEW names best beauty products of the year

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Cosmetic Executive Women recently recognized the most innovative beauty products of the year at the 18th Annual CEW Beauty Insiders’ Choice Awards.

The award-winning products ranged across 29 categories, including cosmetics, hair care, skin care and the newly added nail category. There were more than 625 entries and146 finalists.

The CEW Beauty Awards is the only awards program where the winners are determined exclusively by beauty industry professionals. More than 4,600 CEW members selected the winners.

“When it comes to buying beauty products, women are looking for proven performance and claims they can trust,” stated Carlotta Jacobson, CEW president. “The CEW Beauty Awards seal helps consumers cut through the clutter so they can make an informed decision about the best products in the marketplace. A CEW Beauty Award-winning product signifies the ultimate endorsement from beauty industry insiders, providing the peace of mind the customer needs.”

In addition to recognizing product innovation, CEW announced the winner of the Indie Beauty Award for the brightest new start-up in the world of beauty. This year’s winner is Supergoop.

The CEW Best Seller Award recognizes the product categories with the most growth in sales and the best-selling product in that category for both mass and department stores. Winners are based on retail sales data from SymphonyIRI and the NPD Group. This year’s winner was Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips for mass and Lancôme Visionnaire [LR 2412] advanced skin corrector for department stores.

This marks the first year for the CEW nail product category. The award was created based on the strength of the nail category in the marketplace. This year’s winning product was Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips.

Also new this year, CEW invited top beauty bloggers and online beauty thought leaders to present at this year’s CEW Beauty Awards.

The 2012 CEW Beauty Awards winners are:


  • Bath and Body mass
    • Burt’s Bees Richly Replenishing Cocoa & Cupuaçu Butters body lotion
  • Bath and Body prestige
    • Shiseido Cosmetics America replenishing body cream


  • Acne treatment
    • Kate Somerville Skin Care 24-hour Pimple Punisher
  • Anti-aging mass
    • L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Serum Intense
  • Anti-aging prestige
    • Shiseido Cosmetics America Future Solution LX ultimate regenerating serum
  • Cleanser and scrub
    • Fresh Sugar lip polish
  • Eye treatment mass
    • Garnier Ultra-lift anti-wrinkle eye roller
  • Eye treatment prestige
    • Estée Lauder Idealist cooling eye illuminator
  • Moisturizer mass
    • RoC Multi Correxion® Lift anti-gravity day moisturizer with SPF 30
  • Moisturizer prestige
    • StriVectin TL tightening neck cream


  • Hair care product
    • Ojon Instant Restorative hair serum
  • Hair coloring product
    • Rita Hazan Salon temporary color root concealer
  • Hair styling product
    • Bumble and bumble Bb. Texture Hair(un)dressing crème


  • Eye product mass
    • L’Oréal Paris Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara
  • Eye product prestige
    • Clinique Bottom Lash mascara
  • Face product mass
    • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment concealer
  • Face product prestige
    • Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish hydrating foundation primer
  • Lip product mass
    • Covergirl Blast Flipstick
  • Lip product prestige
    • Fresh Sugar Passion tinted lip treatment SPF 15


  • Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips


  • Lab Series Skincare for Men Max LS overnight renewal serum


  • Men’s scent
    • John Varvatos Fragrance and Skincare Star USA
  • Women’s scent mass
    • Coty Beauty Heidi Klum Shine
  • Women’s scent prestige
    • Prada Candy Eau de Parfum spray


  • Neutrogena Corp. wet skin sunblock spray SPF 50


  • Supergoop!


  • Neutrogena Corp. Naturals Purifying facial cleanser
    *sponsored by Givaudan and vetted by The Natural Step


  • Mass product
    • Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips
  • Prestige product
    • Lancôme Visionnaire [LR 2412] advanced skin corrector

CEW continues to help catalyze sales of the winning products by highlighting them through national retail partnerships with CVS/pharmacy, QVC, Beauty Bar and HauteLook. Throughout the year, the 2012 Beauty Award Winners will display the winners’ seal and will be showcased with custom promotions in store, online and on TV. In addition, a gift box of finalist and winning products will be co-branded with Beauty Bar, allowing consumers to try some of the new products.

The 2012 CEW Beauty Awards are sponsored by Allure, Givaudan, CVS/pharmacy, Crest 3D White, Veet, QVC, Kotex, Beauty Inc, Arcade Marketing, HauteLook, HBA Global Expo, RPG, MaCher, Albéa, Rpr Marketing Communications, Restylane, Script to Screen, Beauty Bar, KraftWorks, Consultancy Media, Suite K, Raw Media Network, Proof Seven and WWD. Categories are defined by NPD and votes are tabulated by Ernst & Young.


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Which area of the industry do you think Amazon’s entry would shake up the most?