Retail News Breaks
Thrifty White looks to boost medication adherence
August 13th, 2012
With HealthyPackRx, patients get a box containing 30-day supplies of all their maintenance medications.
PLYMOUTH, Minn. – As community pharmacies across the country continue to search for ways to drive patient compliance with their medications, Thrifty White Pharmacy has introduced what it calls the HealthyPackRx.
Executives explain that with HealthyPackRx maintenance medications are organized into individual packages labeled with the medication, date and time to be taken, making it easier for patients to take their drugs as prescribed.
“The No. 1 problem of treating illness today is a patient’s failure to take prescription medications correctly, regardless of patient age,” Thrifty White executive vice president of pharmacy Tim Weippert said. “By synchronizing all their prescriptions into our new HealthyPackRx packets, patients will be more adherent and compliant, leading to healthier outcomes and healthier patients.”
The concept for the unique packaging is not a new one, he says, noting that Thrifty White has been using similar packages for about two years with the prescriptions it fills for assisted-living facilities and other institutions across the Upper Midwest.
The drug chain gets between 25% and 30% of its pharmacy revenue from its institutional business.
“We were looking for ways to make it easier for the staffs at these facilities to ensure that patients get their medications,” Weippert says. “Bringing it to retail seemed like a logical step.”
Patients opting to use HealthPackRx receive a box containing 30-day supplies of each of their maintenance medications. Up to four medications are packed into each box. Each dose of a medication is provided in an individual package that has the date and time of day it is to be taken printed on the exterior.
“It is not for everyone,” Weippert admits. “But it is getting off to a very good start. It can drive compliance and ensure that patients get all of their medications at the right time, and that is very important these days.”
According to health care experts, nonadherence and improper medication management results in $290 billion n avoidable medical spending. In addition, they note, poor medication adherence can lead to additional health complications for patients, especially those with chronic conditions.
The HealthPackRx is the second program that Thrifty White has created to help drive medication adherence. The chain’s Synchronize Your Prescriptions program, developed last year, eliminates the need for patients to make multiple trips to a pharmacy by having their prescriptions filled on the same day.
“This is certainly a benefit for the patient and for the pharmacist, who can do better counselling,” Weippert says.
Since the program’s inception, he says, many of Thrifty White’s pharmacies have seen their prescription counts increase.
“We believe that is because people are staying on their medications and complying with their prescriptions,” Weippert says.
“We really believe in this program,” he stresses. “It is all about the patient and how we can help drive down health care spending.”
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