WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 13 There are lots of reasons consumers say they do not take their medications, but being busy or simply forgetting top the list. A new study from CVS Caremark found that nearly three in ten consumers (28%) sometimes forget to refill their prescriptions on time, and this is despite the fact that most (86%) believe they can stick to a daily medication schedule. In addition, more than half (52%) say it would be useful if their pharmacy would remind them when it's time to refill.
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To help address this need, CVS/pharmacy has implemented ReadyFill(R), a free program which allows customers to sign up to have their maintenance prescriptions filled automatically, and receive a phone call from CVS/pharmacy to remind them that their medication is ready to be picked up.
The 2009 CVS Caremark Health IQ Study, which examined consumer attitudes and behaviors around health care and prescription usage, found additional reasons why consumers may not be taking their medications and challenges to them filling prescriptions on time.
"It is very important for patients to maintain their medication regimen. Skipping medications for any reason can be risky and patients may end up compromising their health and having more costs in the long run. Patients should talk to their pharmacist about the best way to manage prescriptions, and simple tools like ReadyFill(R) can help," said Papatya Tankut, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Services for CVS Caremark.
Medication non-adherence is a significant, often unrecognized risk factor that can contribute to poor health outcomes and escalate health care costs. In fact, non-adherence takes an economic toll on U.S. national health care spending, costing an estimated $177 billion a year.
CVS Caremark commissioned a study in April of 2009 among consumers in order to gain insight on behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding health care in general and prescription usage. An internet based study was conducted among 2,000 consumers who report taking at least one maintenance medication. The study was conducted by Cooper Research, Inc, a health care research company based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), is America's largest retail pharmacy with more than 6,900 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores. CVS/pharmacy is committed to improving the lives of those we serve by making innovative and high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Caremark is available at www.cvscaremark.com.
-- Many (43%) admit to simply having forgotten, on occasion, to take their medications. -- 21% of women take five or more prescriptions each month and must remember to fill all of them on time. -- Nearly half of women (47%) say they are more likely to forget to take their own medications than they are to forget to give medication to another family member. -- One-third (34%) say they sometimes stop taking their medications if they feel worse while taking them. -- One-fourth (26%) sometimes stop taking their medications if they feel better. -- Some consumers (21%) admit to being careless about taking their medications as prescribed. -- Younger consumers (ages 20 to 34) are more likely than others to report not taking their medications.