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Mail-Order Pharmacy for New Statin Prescriptions Achieve Better Cholesterol Control in First 3-15 Months of Therapy
Date:7/21/2011

OAKLAND, Calif., July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients who obtained new statin prescriptions via a mail-order pharmacy achieved better cholesterol control in the first 3-15 months following the initiation of therapy -- compared to those patients who only obtained their statin prescription from their local Kaiser Permanente Northern California pharmacy.

Greater adjusted rates of LDL-C control in mail-order pharmacy users were seen across all gender and race-ethnicity groups, according to the study that appears in the current online issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

After adjustment for demographic, clinical, and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as for potential unmeasured differences between mail-order and in-person pharmacy users, 85 percent of patients who used the mail-order pharmacy achieved target cholesterol levels, compared to 74.2 percent of patients who only used the local Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.

Previous studies have shown that mail-order pharmacy use is associated with greater medication adherence. However, this is the first study to examine whether mail-order pharmacy use is related to improved cardiovascular risk factor outcomes, according to Julie Schmittdiel, PhD, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., and the lead author of the study.

"While the findings of this study should be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial, they provide new evidence that mail-order pharmacy use may be associated with improved care and outcomes for patients for risk factors with cardiovascular disease," Schmittdiel said.

"Though mail order may not be right for all patients, this study shows that it is one possible tool in the broader health care system-level toolbox that can help patients meet their medication needs."

At Kaiser Permanente, members have 24/7 access to online pharmacy and pharmacy refill
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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