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Mail-Order Pharmacy Use Could Improve Patients' Medication Adherence
Date:1/13/2010

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Buying mail-order medications may encourage patients to stick to their doctor-prescribed medication regimen, new research suggests.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from UCLA and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, Calif. found that patients with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol who ordered their medications by mail were more likely to take them as prescribed by their doctors than did patients who obtained them from a local pharmacy.

The study is published online in the American Journal of Managed Care.

"The field of medication adherence research typically focuses on patient factors for poor adherence, leading to a 'blame the patient' approach for non-adherence," said Dr. O. Kenrik Duru, assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and the study's lead researcher.

"Our work helps to place this issue in a larger perspective," Duru added. "Our findings indicate that mail-order pharmacies streamline the medication acquisition process, which is associated with better medication adherence."

In a recent survey, Kaiser Permanente members listed mail-order pharmacy among the top benefits of managing their health via Kaiser Permanente's personal health record, My Health Manager. More then 3.4 million members use My Health Manager to conveniently view lab results, refill prescriptions, schedule appointments and securely email their doctors.

For this 12-month study, the researchers analyzed 2006 and 2007 medication refill data from 13,922 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California'/>"/>

SOURCE UCLA
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