Navigation Links
CVS Caremark Study Finds Integrated Pharmacy-Based Program Improved Diabetes Medication Initiation and Adherence Rates

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A CVS Caremark study found that the company's integrated pharmacy-based program – Pharmacy Advisor™ – increased medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions for concomitant medications, improving care for diabetes patients and resulting in savings for health plans.


Pharmacy Advisor™ promotes interactions between diabetes patients and pharmacists, either in face-to-face counseling or on the phone. The study entitled, "An Integrated Pharmacy-Based Program Improved Medication Prescription and Adherence Rates in Diabetes Patients," was published today in the January issue of Health Affairs and highlights the central role pharmacists can play in improving the health of their patients.

"Ensuring adherence and appropriate treatment has long been the domain of primary care providers," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark, and lead author for the study. "However, as demands on the time of these providers increase, interventions carried out by pharmacists can complement primary care. Indeed, pharmacists are in the unique position to monitor patient adherence and effectively intervene when indicated."  

Brennan said the study also added insight into the problem of time-limited health care interventions. "This study showed that patients stay on their medications while they are actively counseled, but once those pharmacist-patient conversations ended, adherence fell quickly. We need to continue these kinds of interventions to make sure patients benefit from the full beneficial impact of their medications." 

Researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital assisted the CVS Caremark researchers in the analysis of the pharmacy claims data of benefit members at a large Midwest manufacturing company and focused on interventions with diabetic patients between October 2009 and April 2010. The study included an intervention group of 5,123 people who were proactively counseled by retail and call center pharmacists and a control group of 24,124 patients with diabetes who did not receive specialized counseling. The researchers measured gains in patient adherence and medication initiation rates of concomitant therapies for diabetes, such as statins, angiotensen converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs).

The research showed that contacts by pharmacists with the patients and their doctors increased therapy initiation rates by as much as 39 percent for the full sample and an even higher 68 percent for the group counseled at retail stores, and increased medication adherence rates by 2.1 percent. The researchers noted that face-to-face interventions by retail store pharmacists resulted in increasing adherence rates by 3.9 percent.

The integrated pharmacy-based program featured counseling by pharmacists at 12 retail stores near the manufacturing client's headquarters, and counseling through a dedicated pharmacist call center for those identified as having diabetes. CVS Caremark launched Pharmacy Advisor for diabetes in 2009 because the cost and prevalence of that disease continues to rise. The American Diabetes Association estimates the cost of the disease to the U.S. in 2007 at $174 billion. 

The study estimated that the employer saved more than $600,000 through health care cost avoidance with the intervention group, while expenditures for the counseling totaled $200,000, a return on investment of $3 for every $1 spent on additional counseling. "In a health care system eagerly seeking programs that can reduce costs and improve care, such simple, pharmacist-based counseling programs to improve adherence to existing medication regimens and initiate missing therapies should be of great value," the researchers concluded. 

CVS Caremark has been working in a 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.

The study reviewed data of CVS Caremark's pilot Pharmacy Advisor™ program. That program is being expanded in 2012 to include counseling for patients with cardiovascular disease, in addition to the more than 12 million members who are part of the diabetes-focused counseling. Through Pharmacy Advisor™, CVS Caremark has engaged PBM members who are diagnosed with diabetes, according to their expressed preferences at points when they are most receptive about their prescribed therapy: face-to-face when members choose to fill their prescriptions at a CVS/pharmacy or by phone if the members use home delivery. The use of the integrated tactics drives behavior change in the short term and over time leads to better clinical outcomes. In addition to improving medication adherence, thus saving money and improving the quality of treatment, the program closes gaps in care and directs members with chronic conditions to existing disease management programs where they can obtain additional support.

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 7,300 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 website at

Media Contact:
Jon Sandberg
CVS Caremark
(401)770 4914

Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. CVS Caremark Outlines Strong Growth for 2012 and Confirms 2011 Guidance
2. CVS Caremark Receives Logistics Best Practice Award at 2011 Supply Chain Logistics Summit
3. CVS Caremark Appoints Kevin Murphy President of Accordant Business
4. CVS Caremark Launches Chronic Cardiovascular Disease Medication Adherence Program
5. CVS Caremark Hosts Live Facebook Chats for American Diabetes Month
6. CVS Caremark Reports Third Quarter Results
7. CVS Caremark to Present at Upcoming Conferences
8. CVS Caremark Sponsored Research Finds Twenty Four Percent of New Prescriptions Never Filled
9. CVS Caremark Partners With Hispanic Heritage Foundation to Identify and Inspire Future Latino Health Care Leaders
10. CVS Caremark Donating $6 Million in Free Flu Shots to Direct Relief USA for Uninsured Patients of Community Clinics and Health Centers
11. CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and CVS/pharmacy Provide Over $100,000 in Disaster Relief To Communities Impacted by Hurricane Irene
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015  Thanks to ... Dignity Health St. Mary,s Medical Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli ... breast imaging capabilities in San Francisco ... an anonymous friend, stepped forward with a gift of ... for Breast Digital Mammography with Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... HOUSTON, TX and VANCOUVER, Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... EPI; NASDAQ: EPIX ) announced today that the ... clinical study of EPI-506 as a treatment for metastatic ... States and Canada.  --> ... --> In the Phase 1/2 clinical trial, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I ... Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to ... The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... philanthropic seniors, is resulting in a way for homeless people to have a ... have launched a new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Since its launch in 2012, ... adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic degenerative medical conditions. Now, the ... Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to hold a registered trademark in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software ... software creates an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically ... notification, and projections. Click here to learn more. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):