Recent research conducted by Express Scripts shows that home delivery pharmacies really do improve the likelihood of a patient taking their medication as their doctor prescribed. We looked at the three most costly conditions to plan sponsors – diabetes, hypertension/heart disease and high blood cholesterol – and the results are striking:
- Adherence rates are 1.72 times higher for patients with diabetes who use home delivery instead of retail pharmacies. This means that for every 100 patients who switch from retail to home delivery, 17.2 nonadherent patients become adherent.
- Adherence rates are 1.71 times higher for patients with hypertension/heart disease who use home delivery instead of retail pharmacies.
- Adherence rates are 1.55 times higher for patients with high blood cholesterol who use home delivery instead of retail pharmacies.
Why should we care?
First, nonadherence is the most costly source of pharmacy-related waste – costing $317.4 billion last year in avoidable medical costs. This does not include the human cost from additional suffering caused by unnecessary complications, the stress of hospitalizations and possibility of early death or disability.
Second, for these 3 conditions alone, nonadherence is a $106 billion dollar annual problem. Think of how much more affordable healthcare could be if we simply eliminated $106 billion dollars a year in waste.
Third, home delivery has an additional benefit in saving both plan sponsors and members money – over $41 billion is spent nationally when members choose retail over home delivery for their maintenance medications.
Fourth, home delivery is safer – dispensing accuracy for the Express Scripts pharmacy is greater than 99.99% compared to only 98.30% for retail pharmacies. Express Scripts pharmacies eliminate 2 million drug errors every year as a result.
Moving to home delivery just makes sense – whether you are interested in improving your own health, saving plan sponsors money or improving the safety of prescription medicines.