8/6/2016 by Share Your Story

Study: Sync prescription refill timelines to improve treatment adherence


Treatments in Sync

Which pill do I take now?

A quarter of Americans face that question on a daily basis as they take different treatments for different ailments. Unsurprisingly, many patients have trouble sticking to the treatment regime prescribed by their provider. This failure to properly adhere to treatment protocols undermines the effectiveness of treatments and adds billions of dollars in wasted health care costs.

Kaiser Health News takes a look at a new study published in Health Affairs that proposes “syncing up prescription refill timelines for patients who take multiple medications.”

  • 23 to 26 percent increase in adherence for patients who were already less likely to take medications correctly
  • 13 to 15 percent increase in adherence for patients in the control group who were already less likely to take medications correctly
  • 3 to 10 percent increase in adherence overall for patients whose prescription refills were aligned control group
  • 1 to 5 percent increase in adherence overall for patients in the control group

“We have so many things going on and so many complexities in our daily lives that reducing one level of complexity, and getting rid of issues related to forgetfulness — that’s a huge service,” said Jalpa Doshi, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, and the study’s lead author.

By matching up treatments, it’s easier for patients to stick to the right treatment protocol.


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