CVS report analyzes drug adherence rates across states

CVS Caremark Corp. released its annual report “State of the States: Adherence Report,” this week, providing a record of adherence rates and use of generic drugs for four health conditions throughout the fifty states. More

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CVS report analyzes drug adherence rates across states

IN ITS ANNUAL STATE OF THE STATES report, CVS Caremark Corp. analyzes drug adherence trends across the 50 states for people with personal health plans, employer-provided health plans and Medicare patients.
Posted 6/28/13

WOONSOCKET - CVS Caremark Corp. released its annual report “State of the States: Adherence Report,” this week, providing a record of adherence rates and use of generic drugs for four health conditions throughout the fifty states.

The health conditions that the study focuses on are diabetes, hypertension, depression and high cholesterol. The study also exposes the possibility of significant savings across states if adherence rates improved.

The CVS Caremark report covered the rates of generic dispensing and first fill persistency rates, as well as medication possession ratio and overall percent 90-day dispensing by state.

These categories were broken down across individuals who have received healthcare from their employers, have their own health plans or are on Medicare.

Maine had the highest reported overall medication possession ratio for those on Medicare with 86.3 percent and the highest overall percent 90-day dispensing rate for those with their own health plans at 74.7percent. Other New England states, Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, also had top spots in adherence rates.

In Rhode Island, those with their own health plans had a lower average percentage of adherence for each of the four conditions. Conversely, for employer-provided health care, adherence for all conditions was above average, most notably for diabetes.

The percentage of adherent Rhode Island’s Medicare beneficiaries were described as having “above average,” most notably for hypertension.

“This data offers policymakers and the health care industry a new look at adherence across geography, health condition and prescription insurance status, and demonstrates the need for increased adoption of interventions that can improve medication adherence in order to advance health outcomes for patients and lessen the cost burden for the health care system,” Dr. Troyen A. Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, said in a statement.

The data exposed several nationwide trends, according to CVS, which said that depression patients had usually the lowest adherence rates and patients of high blood pressure had the highest. It also indicated that among the three groups, Medicare users had the highest adherence rates.

An online center was developed along with the report that allows visitors to interactively examine data, comparing states by narrowing down categories based on market segment, health condition and adherence measure.

Adherence levels across the United States present potential for cost savings. The report states that cost-savings range from $19 million to $2.1 billion throughout the states and that nation-wide costs add up to $290 billion due to current rates of non-adherence.

“CVS Caremark has industry-leading tools to improve medication adherence and generic utilization to drive down health care costs for companies and consumers,” said Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer. “The State of the States report provides insights that enable health care professionals and policymakers to understand state-specific nuances that can help improve adherence rates.”

To view the full report, visit:

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