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Survey: Effective Medication Adherence Tools


A new survey from Express Scripts has surprisingly findings about medication adherence in patients with chronic diseases.



While patients with chronic diseases know that medication is critical to their treatment and health, they don’t always act on that knowledge, according to a new survey.

“Knowing But Not Doing: The State of Rx Adherence in America Report,” from Express Scripts, found that nearly one-third of those taking prescription medications for chronic conditions say they are not concerned about forgetting to take their medications despite the fact that almost one-half believe it is the most important thing they can do to protect their health. They also don’t want to be nagged by their spouse/partner about taking their medicine, rating them as the most annoying source of reminders to take their medicine.

“Given the huge cost of nonadherence to an individual patient’s health, as well as to the country as a whole, it’s essential for patients and clinicians to work together to find solutions to help overcome barriers to adherence,” says Kyle Amelung, PharmD, BCPS, is a senior clinical consultant on Express Scripts’ clinical solutions team.

The survey was conducted by Russell Research on behalf of Express Scripts between February 14 to 22, 2018, among 800 adults (18 years and older) taking medications to treat any of the following chronic diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Depression/mental health
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Respiratory/asthma/COPD
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis

Other unique findings

The survey also found:

  • While human reminders are not viewed favorably, technology-based medication reminders are seen as helpful tools, especially among adults under age 55 years old; 74% of those age 18 to 34 years and 62% of those age 35 to 54 years believe that assistance from mobile health apps or wearable devices would help them be better at taking their medicine.
  • A majority of those surveyed think they do a better job than others at taking their medication as prescribed.
  • Those surveyed give themselves high marks for taking their medication as prescribed-54% of respondents claim they do a better job of it than others-especially for those age 55 and older (60%).
  • Financial rewards are one effective way to motivate patients-two-thirds of those polled say they are more likely to take better care of their health and adhere to their medications when rewarded for their efforts.

“Based on the results of this survey, it’s clear that technology-enabled tools, that also offer rewards and other incentives, can help patients with chronic health conditions remain more adherent with their therapy,” says Amelung.

Advanced technology aids in adherence

Express Scripts, in partnership with Mango Health, to create a customized  mobile health platform designed to generate patient engagement, retention, and adherence through the use of an individualized smartphone app.

Express Scripts also partners with Propeller Health to provide members access to inhaler sensors and a mobile app to manage asthma or COPD, and Livongo and Lifescan for diabetes remote monitoring.

“In addition, Express Scripts has a proprietary adherence solution that uses predictive modeling to identify patients at risk of nonadherence with as much as 94% accuracy. Once identified, ScreenRx activates personalized interventions to help patients stay on their therapy and improve health outcomes,” Amelung says.

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