Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Patients who used mail-order pharmacy for new statin prescriptions achieved better cholesterol control, study finds

Date:
July 22, 2011
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients who obtained new statin prescriptions via a mail-order pharmacy achieved better cholesterol control in the first 3-15 months following the initiation of therapy -- compared to those patients who only obtained their statin prescription from their local Kaiser Permanente Northern California pharmacy.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients who obtained new statin prescriptions via a mail-order pharmacy achieved better cholesterol control in the first 3-15 months following the initiation of therapy -- compared to those patients who only obtained their statin prescription from their local Kaiser Permanente Northern California pharmacy.

Greater adjusted rates of LDL-C control in mail-order pharmacy users were seen across all gender and race-ethnicity groups, according to the study that appears in the current online issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

After adjustment for demographic, clinical, and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as for potential unmeasured differences between mail-order and in-person pharmacy users, 85 percent of patients who used the mail-order pharmacy achieved target cholesterol levels, compared to 74.2 percent of patients who only used the local Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.

Previous studies have shown that mail-order pharmacy use is associated with greater medication adherence. However, this is the first study to examine whether mail-order pharmacy use is related to improved cardiovascular risk factor outcomes, according to Julie Schmittdiel, PhD, an investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., and the lead author of the study.

"While the findings of this study should be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial, they provide new evidence that mail-order pharmacy use may be associated with improved care and outcomes for patients for risk factors with cardiovascular disease," Schmittdiel said.

"Though mail order may not be right for all patients, this study shows that it is one possible tool in the broader health care system-level toolbox that can help patients meet their medication needs."

At Kaiser Permanente, members have 24/7 access to online pharmacy and pharmacy refills at kp.org using My Health Manager, which can be mailed to them free of shipping charges or made available for pick-up at any Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.

In comparing the effectiveness of mail-order pharmacy vs. local pharmacy use on cholesterol control in new statin users, investigators tapped a study population of 100,298 Kaiser Permanente members who were statin users between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007. Statin use was obtained from automated pharmacy records and patients were considered to be new users if they had not recorded use of statin in records prior to the initial statin prescription date.

Greater adherence to these medications by mail-order pharmacy users may reflect improved access to medications, researchers explain. Mail order does not require travel to the local pharmacy, which may provide ease and convenience for patients refilling medications. To address possible selection biases -- for example, the possibility that patients who use mail-order pharmacy services are more motivated to take care of their health than patients who do not use such services -- researchers conducted additional analyses.to minimize such biases. All analyses, even those accounting for such potential differences, showed a positive, significant association between mail order pharmacy use and cholesterol control.

This study is part of an ongoing body of work analyzing the impact of mail-order pharmacy use on clinical outcomes, and seeks to further understand how health care systems can work with patients to optimize medication use without compromising patient choice or safety.

In a January 2010 study in the American Journal of Managed Care, researchers from UCLA and the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research found that patients with diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol who ordered their medications by mail were more likely to take them as prescribed by their doctors than did patients who obtained them from the local pharmacy.

Additional authors on the Journal of General Internal Medicine study include Andrew J. Karter, PhD; Wendy Dyer, MS; Melissa Parker, MS; and Connie Uratsu, all with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. James Chan, PharmD, PhD, with the Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Outcomes and Research Group, and O.Kenrik Duru, MD, MSHS, with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, also are co-authors. Funding was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Division of Diabetes Translation) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Patients who used mail-order pharmacy for new statin prescriptions achieved better cholesterol control, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110722112111.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2011, July 22). Patients who used mail-order pharmacy for new statin prescriptions achieved better cholesterol control, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110722112111.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Patients who used mail-order pharmacy for new statin prescriptions achieved better cholesterol control, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110722112111.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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