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Proper use of Rxs cuts other health care costs

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ARLINGTON, Va. — An examination of data on more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees found that when prescription drugs are taken appropriately as prescribed by a physician there is a reduction of other medical costs for certain Medicaid populations.

The research, undertaken to examine the impact of changes in prescription drug use on medical costs, was summarized in an article published in the September issue of Health ­Affairs.

The article was co-written by Laura Miller, senior economist at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, M. Christopher Roebuck, president and chief executive officer of RxEconomics LLC, J. Samantha Dougherty, senior director of policy and research at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and Robert Kaestner, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The authors found a 1% increase in overall prescription drug use was associated with decreases in nonprescription-drug medical costs for three distinct groups of Medicaid beneficiaries, the article noted.

“We are pleased to announce the findings of this research published in Health Affairs,” remarked Steve Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS, an organization that represents traditional drug stores as well as supermarkets and mass retailers with pharmacies. Its members employ more than 3.8 million individuals, including 175,000 pharmacists, fill more than 2.7 billion prescriptions a year and help people take medications correctly and safely.

“This research is further evidence of the impact of taking medications as prescribed, both in helping patients manage their chronic conditions and reducing emergency or catastrophic medical costs associated with medication nonadherence,” remarked Anderson.


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