Study finds adults actively managing prescriptions ahead of time

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Prescription drug coverage benefits can be confusing at times. However, nearly half of all adults take steps to manage their drug benefit before the new year, according to a survey conducted by leading specialty and home delivery pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. The survey also found room for improvement and many ways people can make managing a prescription easier.

“The survey results affirm steps we are already taking to make life easier for our patients,” says John Stephens, vice president of transformation and strategy at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. “We recently improved our website to allow patients convenient, 24-hour access to order refills and track orders. We’re also increasing staff and expanding hours of operations to get our patients their medicine during the new year.”

The company commissioned the survey as part of its continuing commitment to help people navigate the prescription side of their health care benefits. The survey polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults in late August and found 854 who either take or manage prescription medications. Respondents answered questions about prescription medication use and management, frustrations in understanding coverage, and their willingness to take steps to avoid issues in receiving their prescription medications.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Most adults know what to do when it comes to managing their prescriptions. U.S. adults are familiar with managing prescriptions. More than half (57%) of adults surveyed take prescription medicine regularly, with the percentage increasing steadily with age. Nearly three- quarters (73%) of adults manage all or most of the medicine needs for themselves or their family.
  • But, even if they manage their prescriptions themselves, they say that managing prescriptions is almost as hard as doing taxes. Frustration in understanding what prescriptions an insurance benefit will cover is similar to other complicated tasks. Respondents said doing taxes (54%) or setting up a TV or internet connection (47%) was somewhat to very frustrating, compared to understanding which medications are covered by their insurance benefit (48%).
  • People can take steps to make managing prescriptions easier. There is strong willingness to take steps now to avoid issues in the new year. Over half of respondents (52%) say they are likely to start as early as October or November to avoid issues when starting a new health insurance benefit January 1, with millennials showing the greatest likelihood (57%). And, 41% of adults surveyed have already signed up for text and email notifications or reminders from their pharmacy.

“We recommend patients take the following five steps to make their prescription experience better and easier,” says Stephens.

  1. Use online tools: Create an account to manage your prescriptions. There you can check to determine if you need refills of your medications.
  2. Ask your pharmacist about prior authorization: Ask your pharmacist now if prior authorizations are required or need updating. If so, submit new insurance information to your pharmacy and update your financial assistance or copay information.
  3. Ask your health plan about medication coverage: Check with your health plan to determine if your medication coverage will change in the new year. Verify your copay costs and contact your health plan with any questions.
  4. Ask your doctor about appointments: Contact your doctor about prescription refills. Schedule an appointment now, if required, for new or existing medication. During your appointment, discuss any medication concerns with your doctor.
  5. Ask your doctor to verify your ePrescribe pharmacy of record: Verify with your doctor who they have listed as your pharmacy of record and update if necessary.

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