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CVS Caremark Behavioral Change Research Partnership Presents Ongoing Research at Center for Disease Control Symposium
Date:8/18/2010

nnels: through interactive Web sign-ins; during in-bound customer calls to care centers; through automated outbound telephone calls; and through direct mail. Results for how consumers react in all four channels are not complete. However, Keller said the test using Web-based tools includes an automatic pop-up box that poses the question in clear language before a prescription is filled. The volume of automatic refill requests through that scenario were double the rates the company previously saw.

CVS Caremark launched the BCRP last March to study ways behavioral economics might impact health care decisions, and to better understand why some patients stop taking chronic illness maintenance medications prescribed by their doctors. Besides Keller, other leading behavioral economists participating on the BCRP are George Loewenstein from Carnegie Mellon University and Kevin Volpp from the University of Pennsylvania's Medical School and The Wharton School of Business.

The ongoing work is focusing on how different communications can encourage consumers to stay on their medications and offering automatic refills – the focus of the Active Choice review -- is one way to encourage adherence. Keller said the BCRP work on the Active Choice option is continuing and like other CVS-sponsored studies, the BCRP plans to share the findings publicly in the interest of encouraging better understanding of adherence issues throughout the industry.

"We are looking at this issue from all angles because it is well known that medication non-adherence is costing the health care system billions of dollars every year because people who stop taking medications may face unnecessary hospital admissions and other health care expenditures," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "Our plan is to develop innovative programs that encourage adherence because good pharmacy care is among the most cost-effective health
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