States could save from ten to hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs if medication adherence rates improved, a new study from CVS Caremark Corp. finds.


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CVS Caremark gauges adherence savings by state

June 27th, 2013

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – States could save from ten to hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs if medication adherence rates improved, a new study from CVS Caremark Corp. finds.

CVS said Thursday that its "CVS Caremark 2013 State of the States: Adherence Report" projects potential cost savings in each state at $19 million to $2.1 billion.

Examining data from CVS Caremark's pharmacy benefit management (PBM) business in 2012, the study gauges medication adherence rates and the use of generic drugs across four common health conditions: diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) and depression.

CVS noted that for the first time, the report looks at three distinct market segments served by its PBM business — health plans, employer-sponsored plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) — to show differences in adherence across the pharmacy benefit marketplace. An interactive online hub developed with the report allows audiences to filter data based on market segment, health condition and adherence measure to gain deeper insight into a specific state or draw comparisons across them.

"This data offers policymakers and the health care industry a new look at adherence across geography, health condition and prescription insurance status, and demonstrates the need for increased adoption of interventions that can improve medication adherence in order to advance health outcomes for patients and lessen the cost burden for the health care system," Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "We at CVS Caremark use this data to conduct research and develop programs that help patients, providers and insurers improve adherence and lower costs across the board."

Market
Segment

Highest Overall
Medication Possession
Ratio
(MPR)
By State
Highest Overall
Generic Dispensing
Rate
(GDR)
By State
Highest Overall
First Fill Persistency
Rate
(FFPR)
By State
Highest Overall
Percentage
90-day D
ispensing
By
State
Health Plans

Maryland (81.9%)

Minnesota (93.4%)

Pennsylvania (79.8%)

Maine (74.7%)

Employers

Vermont (84.7%)

Minnesota (92.4%)

Vermont (81.1%)

Connecticut (55.5%)

Medicare

Maine (86.3%)

Massachusetts (92.0%)

New Jersey (94.2%)

Alaska (54.1%)

Source: "CVS Caremark 2013 State of the States: Adherence Report"
 

The findings also revealed some key national trends in medication compliance, CVS said:

• Across all market segments (health plans, employer-sponsored plans and Medicare Part D plans), patients with depression generally had the lowest adherence rates, while patients with hypertension were most adherent.

• Medicare beneficiaries had the highest adherence rates across the three groups.

• 90-day dispensing rates were generally highest among members of employer-sponsored plans.

• Regional variations occurred across the groups. The lowest adherence rates for health plan members with diabetes and depression occurred in the Midwest, and the lowest rates for patients with any condition in employer-sponsored plans and Medicare Part D were in the South.

"The State of the States report provides insights that enable health care professionals and policymakers to understand state-specific nuances that can help improve adherence rates. We hope this report will contribute to the dialogue around how to make that happen," stated Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer at CVS Caremark.

In addition, the CVS Caremark Pharmacy Care Research Institute (PCRI) has released "Advancing Adherence and the Science of Pharmacy Care: Volume III," a compendium of adherence research conducted by CVS Caremark and its research partners over the last several years. The publication includes summaries of adherence research on contributing factors, financial impact, interventions and policy considerations.

The institute aims to advance the science of pharmacy care via research focused on medication adherence and other clinical pharmacy care topics. CVS said that as one element of this research, it has been working in a multiyear collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital to research pharmacy claims data to better understand the factors that influence medication adherence.

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