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CVS’ Proactive Pharmacy, ReadyFill target medication adherence


WOONSOCKET, R.I. —Non-adherence to maintenance medications is dealing a major blow—$177 billion a year—to the nation’s already over-burdened healthcare system, according to recent studies from CVS Caremark.

To help curb the crisis, CVS Caremark is promoting its Proactive Pharmacy Care approach, which engages patients earlier with education and personalized outreach to improve adherence, and also has launched a free program, dubbed ReadyFill, which automatically fills prescriptions for maintenance medications and calls the patient to remind him or her that the medication is ready to be picked up.

Consumers must sign up to participate in the free ReadyFill program.

According to a new study from CVS Caremark, 28% of patients said they sometimes forget to refill their prescriptions on time, and this is despite the fact that most (86%) believe they can stick to a daily medication schedule. In addition, more than half (52%) said it would be useful if their pharmacy would remind them when it’s time to refill.

The “2009 CVS Caremark Health IQ” study, which examined consumer attitudes and behaviors around health care and prescription usage, found additional reasons why consumers may not be taking their medications:

Many (43%) admit to simply having forgotten, on occasion, to take their medications.

21% of women take five or more prescriptions each month and must remember to fill all of them on time.

47% of women are more likely to forget to take their own medications than they are to forget to give a medication to another family member.

In another study, CVS Caremark revealed that more than 50% of patients under the age of 45 who are prescribed a medication to treat high cholesterol are not adherent to the cholesterol-lowering medication. In fact, the data showed that 58% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are not taking their cholesterol-lowering medications as prescribed.

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