Medication Adherence

  • Medication Adherence

    Understand barriers and solutions for medication use.

A Synchronized Prescription Refill Program Improved Medication Adherence

December 12, 2017

Synchronizing medication refills-renewing all medications at the same time from the same pharmacy-is an
increasingly popular strategy to improve adherence to medication regimens, but there has been little research
regarding its effectiveness. In light of increasing policy interest, we evaluated the impact of a pilot refill
synchronization program implemented by a large national insurer. A random sample of Medicare Advantage
patients receiving mail-order refills for common maintenance medications (antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, or
antidiabetic agents) were invited to join the program and followed for twelve months. On average, the absolute
increase in the proportion of patients deemed adherent during follow-up was 3-10 percentage points for the
intervention group, compared to 1-5 percentage points for the control group. Patients with poorer baseline
adherence showed larger increases in the absolute proportion deemed adherent in intervention (23-26 percentage
points) compared to a control group (13-15 percentage points). Synchronizing refills might be a promising
intervention to improve adherence to maintenance medications, especially among Medicare patients with low adherence to maintenance medications, especially among Medicare patients with low baseline adherence.

Doshi et al., 2016