Navigation Links
CVS Caremark Research Finds "Dispense as Written" Prescriptions May Add $7.7 Billion to Annual Health Care Costs
Date:3/25/2011

WOONSOCKET, R.I., March 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately five percent of prescriptions submitted by CVS Caremark Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) members in a 30-day period during 2009 included a "dispense as written" (DAW) designation. This practice – whereby doctors or patients demand the dispensing of a specific brand-name drug and not a generic alternative – costs the health care system up to $7.7 billion annually, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark. Moreover, these requests reduce the likelihood that patients actually fill new prescriptions for essential chronic conditions.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090226/NE75914LOGO)

In a study published this week in the American Journal of Medicine, the researchers demonstrate that DAW designations for prescriptions have important implications for medication adherence. They found that when starting new essential therapy, chronically ill patients with DAW prescriptions were 50 to 60 percent less likely to actually fill the more expensive brand name prescriptions than generics. "Although dispense as written requests would seem to reflect a conscious decision by patients or their physicians to use a specific agent, the increased cost sharing that results for the patient may decrease the likelihood that patients actually fill their prescriptions," the researchers said.

"This study shows that dispense as written requests are costing the health care system billions," said William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard, and the study's lead author.  "The further irony is that patients with prescriptions specifying a certain brand seem less likely to fill their initial prescriptions, adding to the medication non-adherence problem."

"Previous to this study, little was known about the frequency with which doctors and patients request dispense as written prescriptions," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark and a study author. "Those who advocate for dispense as written and argue that the practice provides patients and physicians with greater choice will probably be surprised to learn that the practice increases costs and exacerbates non-adherence."

The study reviewed 5.6 million prescriptions adjudicated by CVS Caremark for two million patients from January 1 to January 31, 2009. The review found that 2.7 percent of those prescriptions were designated DAW by doctors, while another two percent were requested DAW by patients.

If existing safe and effective generic alternatives had been provided in place of those brand-specific prescriptions, patients would have saved $1.7 million and health plans would have spent $10.6 million less for the medications.  The researchers said that assuming a similar rate of DAW requests for the more than 3.6 billion prescriptions filled in the U.S. annually, patient costs could be reduced by $1.2 billion and overall health system costs could be reduced by $7.7 billion.

The study is a product of CVS Caremark's previously announced three-year collaboration with Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital to research pharmacy claims data in order to better understand patient behavior, particularly around medication adherence.  Annual excess health care costs due to medication non-adherence in the U.S. have been estimated to be as much as $290 billion annually.

About CVS Caremark

CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States with integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care. We are uniquely positioned to engage plan members in behaviors that improve their health and to lower overall health care costs for health plans, plan sponsors and their members. CVS Caremark is a market leader in mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail clinics, and is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), we provide access to a network of approximately 65,000 pharmacies, including more than 7,100 CVS/pharmacy® stores that provide unparalleled service and capabilities. Our clinical offerings include our signature Pharmacy Advisor™ program as well as innovative generic step therapy and genetic benefit management programs that promote more cost effective and healthier behaviors and improve health care outcomes. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Company's Web site at http://info.cvscaremark.com/.

Media Contact:
Jon Sandberg
CVS Caremark
(401)770 4914
jlsandberg@cvs.com


'/>"/>
SOURCE CVS Caremark
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. CVS Caremark Charitable Trust Makes Initial Donation of $100,000 to Relief Effort in Japan
2. CVS Caremark Announces Agreement With ActiveHealth Management for Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Support
3. CVS Caremark and Universal American Announce Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period
4. CVS Caremark Awarded Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Rx Benefit Innovation Award for Pharmacy Advisor Program
5. CVS Caremark Corporation to Hold Fourth Quarter 2010 Conference Call
6. CVS Caremark Study Evaluates Which Pharmacy Channel Consumers Choose When Given Choice of Mail or Retail Prescriptions
7. CVS Caremark Announces Interim Leadership for Retail Business
8. CVS Caremark Study Finds Patients with Complex Therapies Struggle to Stay Adherent to their Medications
9. CVS Caremark Study Finds Medication Adherence Leads to Lower Health Care Costs, Even After Accounting for Increased Prescription Drug Spending
10. CVS CAREMARK to Purchase Universal Americans Medicare Part D Business
11. CVS Caremark to Present at the 29th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... Aesthetic Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline Assessment, ... "Aesthetic Devices - Medical Devices Pipeline Assessment, 2015" provides ... This report is prepared using data ... GlobalData,s team of industry experts. *Note: Certain sections ... on the availability and relevance of data in relation ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... FAIRFIELD, N.J. , Feb. 8, 2016  Otsuka ... today announced that they have entered into a licensing ... OPA-15406 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico ... is a topical, non-steroidal phosphodiesterase IV (PDE-4) inhibitor, a ... --> --> In a Phase II ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Echo ... medical device company focused on non-invasive continuous ... announced today announced that it will host ... February 17, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern ... discuss its corporate strategy, advancements in its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/9/2016)... FL (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... innovative specialty pharmacies, announces today the continuation of the ‘Pay It Forward’ program ... each prescription referral received at our specialty pharmacy. , “Since our Pay ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On January 12, 2016 Paul McElwee, a CroppMetcalfe HVAC technician, ... furnace not producing any heat. Shortly after entering the home, Paul was able to ... dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into the home, at 2,000 parts per million in ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The Bon-Ton ... and Younkers department stores, announced it has raised $176,000 to benefit the Breast ... Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, The Lynn Sage Cancer Research ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ZipHearing.com ... access to affordable hearing aids , increase industry transparency, and promote awareness ... United States. , “For the average consumer, the hearing aid industry is esoteric ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... products, announced today the introduction of the newly designed, innovative shoulder wrap. ... better cold therapy coverage for the injured arm and shoulder to promote faster ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):