The research was published in the American Journal of Managed Care and is the first to show the impact of prescription refill programs on medication adherence -- a major public health issue costing the nation approximately $300 billion a year in health care spending.
Researchers analyzed data from more than 250,000 CVS/caremark members who filled either 30- or- 90-day prescriptions for at least one of 11 common chronic conditions at a CVS store. Medication adherence was measured using the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR).
Members who received a 30-day supply of chronic medications and were enrolled in CVS' ReadyFill, an automatic prescription refill program launched in 2009, had a MPR of three points higher than members who filled medications the traditional way. Enrollees also had 2.5 fewer days of excess medication on hand.
The MPR for those ReadyFill enrollees receiving a 90-day supply of medications was 1.4 points higher than non-enrollees. Additionally, the ReadyFill users had approximately two fewer days of an oversupply of medication.
“We created the ReadyFill program to help encourage adherence by providing customers with easy access to an appropriate and adequate medication supply,” CVS Health Pharmacy Services Executive Vice President Joshua Flum said. “At CVS Health, we are committed to helping more people start and stay on their prescriptions every day, and ReadyFill is just one of several adherence services that we offer to help improve health outcomes and reduce total health care costs.”