Even with new medical schools opening, shortages mar workforce

February 17, 2016

This study is part of a broader research effort by CVS Caremark to learn more about why patients do not take prescriptions that are prescribed, or drop the medications in the middle of therapy. The research includes continuing internal analysis of CVS Caremark clients and an external partnership with Harvard and Brigham & Women's Hospital.  Separately, a recent study by the New England Healthcare Institute found that not taking medications as prescribed leads to poorer health, more frequent hospitalization, a higher risk of death and as much as $290 billion annually in increased medical costs.

The research findings will be used to develop programs that aim to improve patient education about the importance of adherence, and communications for timely interventions with patients that include face-to-face first fill counseling; IVR and Web refill reminders, renewals and pick-up prompts; and outreach calls to potentially non-adherent patients from their local CVS pharmacist.

"As the health care debate continues, one thing is clear: We all have to find ways to make health care more affordable," Brennan said. "Our passion and expertise is to help our clients receive the best pharmacy care available, and that can be achieved by focusing on adherence to impact the health of our customers and help take costs out of the health care system," Brennan said.