As a company that provides medication adherence packaging, we’re always interested in other factors that contribute to medication adherence. A study by Kaiser Permanente determined that several criteria involving the health system correlated with high rates of adherence, according to an article published in News Medical. Specifically the study found that seniors with type 2 diabetes had about a 90 percent adherence rate when the following factors occurred:
1) Patients were prescribed a 90-day supply of medications
2) Copays were $10 or less
3) Out of pocket maximum costs were $2,000 or lower
4) Patients had used mail order pharmacy services for more than half of the year for refills
Two of the factors are cost related and two appear to be convenience related. The article mentions that the Medicare 5-Star Quality Rating System “defines patients as adherent if they have sufficient medication on hand for 80 percent or more of the days in a year.” This definition does not account for whether patients actually took the proper medication doses as prescribed by their physicians.