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Study: Statin users are less adherent when multiple physicians, trips to pharmacy are involved

NEW YORK — Patients taking cardiovascular drugs may become less adherent if they have to see multiple physicians and make frequent trips to the pharmacy, according to a new study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and CVS Caremark analyzed data from 1.8 million patients taking statins and 1.5 million taking angiotensin receptor blockers or angiotensin-converting enzymes from between June 2006 and May 2007.

They found that greater complexity in prescribing and filling prescriptions resulted in lower levels of adherence, and those with the least refill consolidation had adherence rates 8% lower than those with the most. The researchers concluded that strategies to reduce the complexity of prescribing and filling prescriptions could help improve medication adherence.

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