Connected series: The vital role of the pharmacist — supporting chronic conditions

Chronic conditions are on the rise. Four out of five American workers live with at least one chronic condition.1, 2 You see new, innovative drugs in the news every month. Currently more than 10,000 prescription drugs and 300,000 over-the-counter (OTC) medications are on the market.3 And these numbers are growing.

In the crowded, confusing maze that is today’s health care, the pharmacist is on the front lines working to keep your employees safe and healthy. And people trust pharmacists. A Gallup Study found that pharmacists rank among the top three most trusted professions, according to honesty and ethical standards.4

How can we help pharmacists make a difference? How do we design pharmacy benefits to make a difference and support employees'  relationship with pharmacists?

Steering choices to support adherence

The investment in chronic conditions is huge, but it isn’t always paying off. Nearly 75 percent of all health care costs go toward treating chronic conditions.1,2 Half of people with chronic conditions don’t take their medicine as prescribed.2 Studies show that offering choices on how members get their medicine is crucial to adherence. For people that need long-term drug therapy, 90-day supplies help them stay more adherent than 30-day supplies.5

Prime provides several 90-day supply options that give plans and your employees choices to help people get their medicine while keeping costs affordable.

Call anytime, really: Putting a face to home delivery

In 2014, Prime learned that many PrimeMail® members imagined their medicine being processed and shipped from a warehouse — machines kicking out medicine. But each prescription at PrimeMail receives two verifications by an actual pharmacist. And you can talk to them anytime, 24/7. Prime's “face of the pharmacist” campaign pulls back the curtain to highlight the real pharmacists that process millions of member prescriptions every year. The campaign launched as a flyer packed with the prescription.

People told us that having the ability to speak with a pharmacist, 24/7 was a greater value than convenience or savings. The first piece of the campaign — the flyer — increased awareness of the 24/7 availability by almost 20 percent.7 As the campaign continued, 2015 saw this result increase by another 7 percent. In 2016, it will evolve to include pharmacy team features in letters, brochures, videos, websites and more.

For employees that choose home delivery, now they know that means they can still talk to a pharmacist anytime.

Coming next month: The vital role of the pharmacist — Pharmacist intervention. Learn how Prime’s programs continue to reach members through the help of pharmacists.

 

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). The power to prevent, the call to control: At a glance 2009. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/chronic.htm

2. Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. (2009). 2009 almanac of chronic diseases. Retrieved from http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/fightchronicdisease.org/files/docs/2009AlmanacofChronicDisease_updated81009.pdf

3. A Call to Action: Protecting U.S. Citizens from Inappropriate Medication Use by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, 2007. Accessed at: https://www.ismp.org/pressroom/viewpoints/CommunityPharmacy.pdf

4. Newport, F. (2012, December). Congress retains low honesty rating. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/159035/congress-retains-low-honesty-rating.aspx

5. 2011 Prime Drug Trend Insights, Smart Pharmacy Benefit Management. Page 51. Accessed at: http://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/e7c690e8-6ff9-102a-ac6d-e4aebca50425/405ebe56-8e2d-4bca-a22d-8aa0f2599ebb/File/2acf94f88e47a2cf57046299021fb8d8/2011primedrugtrendinsights.pdf

6. Medicare & Medicaid Research Review; Medication Days’ Supply, Adherence, Wastage, and Cost Among Chronic Patients in Medicaid. 2012 Volume 2 (3),

7. PrimeMail member survey. (Q42014).

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