February 25, 2016

Stroke patients receiving medication through mail-service pharmacies have better adherence than those getting their medication at drugstores, according to a new analysis of Kaiser Permanente data presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016. Researchers found that patients using local pharmacies were adherent about 47 percent of the time, while patients were adherent almost 74 percent of the time when using mail-order pharmacy.

“The new data show how patients with chronic conditions can increase savings, convenience, and adherence by having their prescriptions delivered directly to their homes,” said Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt.

In addition, the data show:

  • Those who only used local pharmacies were 56.4 percent adherent to their prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering statins, while patients who received medications through home delivery were nearly 88 percent adherent.
  • Among those taking anticoagulants, adherence was about 45 percent for those using their local pharmacies versus 56 percent for home delivery customers.

There’s growing demand among patients with chronic conditions for the savings and convenience of Amazon.com-style home delivery.

The analysis of Kaiser Permanente data is the first to examine adherence with stroke patients and adds to a growing body of research that confirm home delivery lowers costs for consumers and payers, and increases medication adherence for those suffering from chronic conditions.

  • Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (OIG): A 2013 OIG report found that TRICARE’s mail-service pharmacy program saves money, controls waste, and generates 96 percent satisfaction among America’s Uniformed Service members, retirees, and their families.
  • The Journal of General Internal Medicine: In a 2011 study, research from Kaiser Permanente published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine show that patients receiving their prescription medications through a mail-service pharmacy achieved better cholesterol control compared to those who obtained their statin prescriptions from their local pharmacy.
  • American Journal of Managed Care: According to researchers from UCLA and Kaiser Permanente, writing in the American Journal of Managed Care, consumers receiving their prescription medications for chronic conditions through a mail-service pharmacy “were more likely to take them as prescribed by their doctors than did patients who obtained them from a local pharmacy.”