Walgreens outlines results of medication adherence studies


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens unveiled the results of research, conducted by the drug store chain, that demonstrated how its approach to community pharmacy ultimately helped improve outcomes through cost savings, pharmacist-led face-to-face patient counseling and specialized services for disease management.

New research results, presented by Walgreens at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's 24th Annual Meeting and Expo last week in San Francisco, included:

  • Prescription Savings Club membership drives medication adherence: The study, which assessed the impact of enrollment in Walgreens Prescription Savings Club on patient adherence to prescriptions used to treat diabetes, found that PSC members were nearly 10% more adherent to diabetes medications, compared with non-PSC members (77.9% versus 68%);

  • Impact of community pharmacist-led counseling on patient medication adherence: The pharmacist-led counseling for patients that were newly prescribed statin and thyroid medications resulted in an increase in one-year patient medication possession from 44% before the introduction of the program to 56% after the introduction of the program. Medication possession in a control group of patients of similar pharmacies without the program showed no significant increase in medication possession; and

  • Impact of HIV-specialized pharmacies on adherence to antiretroviral therapy: Walgreens HIV Centers of Excellence pharmacies, which offer specialized services for HIV patients aimed at combatting barriers to adherence, found that 62% of patients at such pharmacies had adherence of 85% or more, compared with 57% of patients using community pharmacies.

"At Walgreens, our number one priority is offering our patients innovative, accessible and personalized solutions to staying well," said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. "And providing a support system to facilitate consistent adherence with prescribed medications is a key component of this. This research highlights how three initiatives — our Prescription Savings Club program, our face-to-face pharmacist disease management counseling, and our specialty pharmacy offerings — can all meaningfully help improve adherence. These types of offerings not only benefit our patients, but also the overall healthcare system by ultimately helping improve outcomes and potentially reduce costs."

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