Home / Letter From The Editor / Letter from the Editor, #686: How Pharmacists Can Help with Medication Adherence

Letter from the Editor, #686: How Pharmacists Can Help with Medication Adherence

Jul 19, 2013

There have been a lot of additions to the diabetes drug armada over the past year and we have spent a lot of time helping you learn how best to use them. But over and over we have seen that no matter how good the drugs are, they just won’t help if patients don’t take them. There are tons of reasons why, and we could probably debate the reasons for the next 10 years and still be no closer to a singe definitive answer. Instead of focusing on the problem we need to work on solutions or methods to improve adherence.

For the last three to four years pharmacists have been doing this in a round-about way. First, new software can notify the pharmacist when a refill is not made and they can then engage the patient in a conversation about staying on their medications. In addition, about 35% of all refills for maintenance medications are never picked up and pharmacies can call these patients to remind them to come in. All these activities have helped but patients often think that a pharmacy has a profit motive rather than a health motive when it comes to refills.


Now we are seeing the health plans themselves get involved in increasing medication adherence to keep the patients on their medications and out of the emergency rooms and hospitals. Two of these new programs are trying out different methods to reach the same goal.

ScriptGuide, which LDM Group has put together for Allscripts, is disseminated by the health care provider and is produced in real-time as the prescription is being ordered during a physician-patient consultation. ScriptGuide enhances the physician-patient dialogue by providing personalized messaging and the impetus for the patient to fill their prescription.

Healthrageous, Inc., a digital health management company, and Boehringer Ingelheim, are working together to provide a web and smartphone-delivered program which will include a personalized action plan with health behavior improvement goals, a wireless glucose meter transmitting data to clinical monitors, as well as HbA1c at-home test kits. They are starting with adults who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for at least six months and, based on the success of the program, will expand it to more patients. According to a source we have, the patients will not have to be on a BI medication to be part of the program.

For the last two years we have reported on the trials and successes of the pro-cycling team, Team NovoNordisk. This team of professional riders who all have type 1 diabetes will be racing at the premier road race in the United States, the US Pro Challenge, and we will be there to cover them as they pedal for seven days over some of the tallest mountains in America. Check out the link USA Pro Challenge | America’s Race to the race and set your DVR. 


From dLife.com: "Joy Pape RN, CDE answers your diabetes questions from the dLife mail; Chef Michel Nischan shares a great recipe for traditional beet soup; Lynn Prowitt explores shopping for grains with diabetes; Jim Turner interviews entrepreneur Vietnam Veteran Urban Miyares." Sundays live online at dLifeTV.com at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Keep up on the latest dLife news at dLifeTV.com.

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We can make a difference!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief