Pharmacy-retail chains Walgreens and CVS Caremark recently rolled out programs aimed at improving medication adherence and care coordination for their pharmacy customers.
The Walgreens’ initiative will have its pharmacists working with doctors, insurers, employers and managed care organizations to allow for a 90-day supply of prescription drugs, instead of 30 days, for chronic conditions. CVS Caremark, on the other hand, will allow its customers with a personal health record operated by Microsoft Health Vault to download their prescription information into the record.
“By enabling patients to download their prescription information directly into their personal [health] record, we are helping them access and maintain a more complete view of their medication history, one that can easily be shared and discussed with the health care providers who are managing their overall health,” says Helena Foulkes, executive vice president at CVS Caremark. The program aims to help consumers take better control of their medication plans, thus ensuring better coordination of care with their doctors.
Walgreens’ officials report that there is about a 15% increase in adherence to medications for patients receiving a 90-day retail prescription versus those receiving a 30-day supply. “We can positively impact adherence by encouraging our patients to receive a 90-day supply for their chronic medications. This program will lead to improved outcomes for patients and payors,” says Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO.
He explains that each 90-day prescription fill equals three times the volume of a 30-day fill, more than 24% of the company’s Medicare Part D beneficiaries’ prescription volume and 47% of its prescription savings club members’ medication volume are filled as 90-day supplies at the pharmacies.
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