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New report shows 82% of patients still experience medication delays, despite advancements

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — New data released Tuesday by CoverMyMeds found 82% of patients experienced medication delays in the last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, insurance processes, communication challenges and prescription cost. Of patients who experienced medication delays, 85% had to make financial sacrifices to afford their prescriptions.

In addition to medication delays, many patients also postponed medical visits in the past year. According to the 2022 Medication Access Report, 84% of patients delayed or skipped in-person healthcare visits, mostly due to COVID-19 fears or a scarcity of appointments, contributing to an estimated 500 million missed diagnostic visits and more than 15 million fewer new prescriptions.

The 2022 Medication Access Report uses industry research, patient interviews and new survey data from patients, pharmacists, providers, payers and biopharma companies to identify opportunities for healthcare technology to improve medication access. Additional key findings in this year’s report include:

Patients face mounting medication affordability challenges

  • 79% of patients said they’ve gone to the pharmacy only to discover a prescription cost more than they expected. Nearly 31% of those patients left without their medication or did not seek affordability options.
  • When faced with an affordability challenge, 56% of patients attempted to stretch out a prescription, 52% of patients skipped bills or other essential items to afford medications, and 51% of patients sacrificed medications to pay bills and other essentials.

Care teams in every setting are affected by pandemic stress

  • 54% of pharmacists said they lack time to complete their job effectively, with 81% citing inadequate staffing and 73% citing time-consuming administrative tasks.
  • Physicians also felt strained by unprecedented demands, with 42% reporting burnout and 69% feeling depressed.

Timely, actionable data is needed across the healthcare ecosystem to improve patient care

  • To better inform affordability conversations with patients and help patients start specialty therapies, 56% of providers and 63% of pharmacists said they need access to patient-specific benefit information.
  • However, only 25% of providers and 36% of pharmacists said they have in-workflow access to critical information, such as plan- and pharmacy-specific pricing, cash pricing and patient deductible data needed to effectively support patients on their medication access journeys.

The 2022 Medication Access Report also highlights technology solutions that automate historically manual processes and provide actionable information that better enable care team members to help patients get the medicine they need.

“For decades, the U.S. healthcare industry has wrestled with utilizing technology and timely insights to address quality, cost, choice and convenience to create better patient outcomes,” said John Beardsley, senior vice president of corporate strategy at CoverMyMeds. “But in the last two years, we have witnessed new digital health solutions emerge to meet the heightened needs from care teams and patients. By adopting newfound workflows and the latest technology to navigate patient care, the industry can further improve healthcare interoperability and progress toward the vision of improved outcomes.”

The report is published by CoverMyMeds, part of McKesson Corporation, with an advisory board of industry leaders from Albertsons Companies, California Chronic Care Coalition, Cambia Health, Cerner, Clearview Healthcare Partners, Community Health Network, eMDs, Horizon Government Affairs, National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, National Patient Advocate Foundation, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Ontada, Orsini Healthcare and PioneerRx.

To view the full 2022 Medication Access Report, click here.


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