Navigation Links
Mail-Order Pharmacy Use Could Improve Patients' Medication Adherence

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. They defined "good adherence" as having medication available and on hand at least 80 percent of the time.

They found that 84.7 percent of patients who received their medications by mail at least two-thirds of the time stuck to their physician-prescribed regimen, versus 76.9 percent who picked up their medications at "brick and mortar" Kaiser Permanente pharmacies.

"The results were consistent for all three classes of medication, including medications to control diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol," explained co-investigator Julie A. Schmittdiel, PhD, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

"Our findings suggest that there is a lot that health care systems can do to provide support that makes it easier for patients to take care of themselves and do the right thing."

Other findings include:

After adjusting for other variables, whites were more likely to use mail-order more than 2/3 of the time (24.1 percent) than were Asian/Pacific Islanders (8.4 percent), Hispanics (5.2 percent), blacks (4.0 percent), and people of mixed race (8.0 percent).

Mail-order pharmacy users were more likely than local pharmacy users to have a financial incentive to fill their prescriptions by mail (49.6 percent vs. 23.0 percent), and to live a greater distance away from a local pharmacy (8.0 miles vs. 6.7 miles). An example of a financial incentive is receiving a three-month supply of medications for the cost of a two-month supply.

While other research has examined the association between mail-order vs. local pharmacy types and medication cost, this is the first to look at the relationship between pharmacy type and adherence. Furthermore, it controls for differences in medication days' supply and out-of-pocket costs between mail-order and local pharmacy users, something other datasets don't include.

"In other words, our study is able to isolate the use of mail-order pharmacies specifically without the results being affected by differences in cost or in the number of pills provided with each dispensing," Duru said.

The study does have some limitations. For example, these findings need to be confirmed by a randomized controlled trial.

Still, this research suggests that increased mail-order use to obtain medications could improve patients' adherence.

Other researchers in addition to Duru and Schmittdiel are Wendy Dyer, Melissa Parker, Connie Uratsu, James Chan and Andrew J. Karter of the division of research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funded this study.

General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research is a division within the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. It provides a unique interactive environment for collaborative efforts between health services researchers and clinical experts with experience in evidence-based work. The division's 100-plus clinicians and researchers are engaged in a wide variety of projects that examine issues related to access to care, quality of care, health measurement, physician education, clinical ethics and doctor/patient communication. The division's researchers have close working relationships with economists, statisticians, social scientists and other specialists throughout UCLA and frequently collaborate with their counterparts at the RAND Corp and Charles Drew University. Visit for more information.

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes, and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR's 500-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:




Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Kaiser Permanente Recognized by J.D. Power and Associates as Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Mail-Order Pharmacies
2. Managed Pharmacy Care: Coping With Mail-Order Woes
3. Doctor Diabetic Supply Awarded by Medicare to Provide Mail-Order Diabetic Testing Supplies in 10 Metropolitan Areas
4. Medco Reports Strong First-Quarter Results; Record EPS, Mail-Order Volume, Generic Dispensing Rates
5. Keenan Offers New Pharmacy Discount Card Program with No Eligibility Requirements and No Cost to User
6. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic to Provide H1N1 Vaccines in 8 New States
7. PharmaSmart International, Inc and AstraZeneca Canada Enter Into Strategic Partnership to Elevate Pharmacy Based Hypertension Management
8. 5,000 Web Sites Selling Prescription Drugs Outside of Pharmacy Laws and Practice Standards
9. CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic Now Providing H1N1 Vaccinations in Arizona
10. Aon Consulting Adds Senior Vice President to National Pharmacy Practice
11. New InSiteRx™ Remote Dispensing Technology Automates Pharmacy Functions in Long-Term Care Market
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... Los Angeles, Ca (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... from the American Board of Ophthalmology on November 25th 2015. Peer Certification ... in the field of his specialty. Certification in Ophthalmology is first obtained after the ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub ... on Black Friday Target is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd ... opportunity to purchase IguanaMed at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Trying to relax on a couch ... BUDDY. "I conceived of this design due to personal experience with a bad back," ... promotes relaxation and convenience, as well as increases support. It also makes it easier ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an ... recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved around the fact that ... patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal disease (more commonly referred ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released ... Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click here to ... cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda SyMRI ... (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel skleros ... forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att kunna ... på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man generera ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) has ... of High Viscosity Drugs" report to their ... the addition of the "Self Administration of ... --> Research and Markets ( ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 ... addition of the "Global Brain Monitoring ... offering. --> ) has ... Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" report ... and Markets ( ) has announced ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: