Synchronizing Prescription Refills Improves Medication Adherence

Research from Humana Inc. and Penn Medicine has shown that when all of a patient’s prescriptions are refilled on the same day, patients are more likely to take their medications as prescribed, according to a press release from Humana Inc.

The study, published in the August issue of Health Affairs and authored by Jalpa A. Doshi, PhD, an associate professor of Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, found that synchronizing refills increased medication adherence by 3-5% among Medicare patients taking multiple prescriptions to treat hypertension, high cholesterol or diabetes.

For patients who showed poor adherence going in to the study, adherence increased by 9-13%. Previous studies have routinely found that improved medication adherence leads to better health outcomes and lower healthcare costs, the press release notes.

Patients with synchronized refills showed improved adherence of 3-10% compared to 1-5% in the control group. This means synchronized refills increased adherence by 3-5%.

Patients who began the study with lower baseline adherence showed even larger increases. They improved adherence of 23-25% percent compared to the control group’s improvement of 13-15% percent. This means synchronization improved their adherence by 9-13%.

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