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CVS Caremark Research Finds Correlation Between Amount of Patient Co-pay and Prescription Abandonment
Date:11/16/2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by Harvard, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark researchers has found a direct correlation between the amount of a patient's out-of-pocket co-pay and likely abandonment of the prescription, with patients having a co-pay of $50 almost four times more likely to abandon a prescription at a pharmacy than those paying $10. The study also found that e-prescriptions are 65 percent more likely to be left abandoned at a retail pharmacy by patients than are hand-written prescriptions.

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The CVS Caremark-sponsored study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine is the first to systematically evaluate rates and predictors of prescriptions abandoned at the pharmacy.

"Sticker shock is an important driver of prescription abandonment," said lead author of the study, William Shrank, MD, MSHS, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. Shrank said the study also outlines and validates a simple prediction rule that pharmacists can apply to help them assess whether patients are at risk to abandon their prescriptions.

"This research gives us new insight into an area of non-adherence that we did not have before and shows we have opportunities to change patient behavior," said Larry J. Merlo, president and chief operating officer of CVS Caremark. "We need to be more attentive to reasons why patients may be abandoning prescriptions and work to help them stay on their medications.  We continue to be a strong proponent of e-prescribing because we recognize the benefits it can provide, such as improving the accuracy and quality of prescription delivery and reducing paperwork to make pharmacy care more efficient."

The team of researchers reviewed all prescriptions dispensed at CVS/pharmacy locations between July 1 and September
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SOURCE CVS Caremark
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