Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Use of mail-order pharmacies use could improve patients' medication adherence

Date:
January 20, 2010
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers find that patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol who ordered their medications by mail were more likely to take them as prescribed by their physicians than patients who obtained medications from a local pharmacy.

Buying medicine by mail may encourage patients to stick to their doctor-prescribed medication regimen, new research suggests.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers from UCLA and Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., found that patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol who ordered their medications by mail were more likely to take them as prescribed by their physicians than patients who obtained medications from a local pharmacy.

The study findings appear in the online edition of the American Journal of Managed Care.

"The field of medication adherence research typically focuses on patient factors for poor adherence, leading to a 'blame the patient' approach for non-adherence," said Dr. O. Kenrik Duru, the study's lead researcher and an assistant professor in the division of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

"Our work helps to place this issue in a larger perspective," Duru said. "Our findings indicate that mail-order pharmacies streamline the medication-acquisition process, which is associated with better medication adherence."

For the 12-month study, researchers analyzed medication refill data from 2006 and 2007 for 13,922 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California. They defined "good adherence" as having medication available and on-hand at least 80 percent of the time.

The researchers found that 84.7 percent of patients who received their medications by mail at least two-thirds of the time stuck to their physician-prescribed regimen, compared with 76.9 percent of those who picked up their medications at traditional "brick-and-mortar" Kaiser Permanente pharmacies.

"The results were consistent for all three classes of medication, including medications to control diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol," said co-investigator Julie A. Schmittdiel, Ph.D., a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente research division.

Other findings include:

  • Before adjusting for other variables, white patients were more likely than Hispanics to obtain medications by mail (61.0 percent vs. 37.1 percent) and to be in the highest socioeconomic status quartile (27.5 percent vs. 17.8 percent).
  • Mail-order pharmacy users were more likely than local pharmacy users to have a financial incentive to fill their prescriptions (49.6 percent vs. 23.0 percent) and to live a greater distance from a local pharmacy (8.0 miles vs. 6.7 miles). An example of a financial incentive is receiving a three-month supply of medication for the cost of a two-month supply.
  • After adjusting for other variables, whites were more likely to use mail-order pharmacies (24.1 percent) than were Asian/Pacific Islanders (8.4 percent), Hispanics (5.2 percent), African Americans (4.0 percent) and individuals of mixed race (8.0 percent).

While other research has examined the association between medication costs and mail-order and local pharmacies, this is the first study to look at the relationship between pharmacy type and medication adherence. Furthermore, it controls for differences in out-of-pocket costs and medication supply (by number of days) between mail-order and local pharmacy users, something other datasets have not included.

"In other words, our study is able to isolate the use of mail-order pharmacies specifically, without the results being affected by differences in cost or in the number of pills provided with each dispensing," Duru said.

The study does have some limitations. For example, the findings need to be confirmed by a randomized controlled trial.

Still, the research suggests that increased mail-order use to obtain medications could improve patients' adherence.

In addition to Duru and Schmittdiel, researchers included Wendy Dyer, Melissa Parker, Connie Uratsu, James Chan and Andrew J. Karter of the research division at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funded this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Use of mail-order pharmacies use could improve patients' medication adherence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119092842.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2010, January 20). Use of mail-order pharmacies use could improve patients' medication adherence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119092842.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Use of mail-order pharmacies use could improve patients' medication adherence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119092842.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins