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More is Sometimes Less: Women are Prescribed a Greater Number of Medications Than Men but Take Less of the Drugs They Need
Date:3/19/2012

been demonstrated that there are physiological differences in women that affect their absorption and metabolism of medications, but this knowledge has not yet been widely translated into gender-specific dosing," said Amy Steinkellner, PharmD, National Practice Leader, Medco Women's Health Therapeutic Resource Center®.  "To improve clinical care, avoid misdosing and potentially avoidable side effects in women, it is critical to consider gender in every aspect of drug development and management, from research and reporting of results all the way through to a personalized medicine treatment plan."

The study examined prescription claims for nearly 30 million insured Americans ages 18 and older over the course of one year (January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010).  For the purposes of this study, adherence was measured according to the medication possession ratio (MPR), the percent of days that the patient has medication available over the study period. An MPR of 80 percent or higher is considered adherent.

Women Lag Behind Men in Both Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Management
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of those living with diabetes are women.  However, the Medco study showed that men far surpassed women when it came to diabetic adherence to prescribed medications, monitoring and management tools.  In fact, of the 14 clinical categories in diabetes, men outperformed women in all 14.

Specifically, 30 percent of women tested blood glucose using test strips, compared with 35 percent of men; approximately 66 percent of women had an A1C test – a measure of blood sugar over time – compared to more than 70 percent of men.

Of those with cardiovascular disease – the number one killer of women in the U.S. – women fared worse than men in 11 out of 11 clinical metrics.  Use of cholesterol reducing medication in the presence of coronary art
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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