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CVS Caremark Study Evaluates Which Pharmacy Channel Consumers Choose When Given Choice of Mail or Retail Prescriptions
Date:1/19/2011

g-term chronic illness, 44.3 percent selected retail as their pharmacy of choice, while 55.7 percent selected mail service. For members who had no previous experience using a mail pharmacy, nearly 68% selected retail pharmacy for their maintenance medication prescriptions.  

"These results highlight the importance of constructing pharmacy benefit designs that provide members with affordable access to both retail and mail pharmacies," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH and Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark. "While it is clear people like having options, their preferences appear to depend on factors such as driving distance to a pharmacy, prior experience with mail service and age, with those who are younger favoring retail."

Brennan added that an important finding from the study showed members in Maintenance Choice plans tend to be more adherent to their medications.  "We are looking for ways to encourage people to stay on their medications as prescribed because it is one of the most cost-effective ways to manage a plan's health care costs and improve patient outcomes. Choice and convenience for consumers makes a difference in helping people stay adherent," he said.

The Maintenance Choice study is part of the CVS Caremark research effort aimed at better understanding how consumers interact with their pharmacy care provider so that they stay adherent to their medications. The study was conducted as part of a previously announced three-year collaboration between CVS Caremark, Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital to research pharmacy claims data to better understand patient behavior around medication adherence.

CVS Caremark is undertaking these studies because patient non-adherence to essential chronic medications is widely recognized as a barrier to improving public health and a cause of increasing medical costs.  Past studies show one-quarter of people receiving prescriptions never
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SOURCE CVS Caremark
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