How SMS Reminders and Discounts Boost Medication Adherence – HEOR insights

A recent study by Peasah et al published in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy has shed light on a promising approach to combat medication non-adherence, a major hurdle in managing chronic diseases. This study investigated the effectiveness of a financial incentive and refill reminder program in improving medication adherence for three commonly prescribed antithrombotic medications: ticagrelor (the antiplatelet group), apixaban, and rivaroxaban (the anticoagulant group). These medications are crucial for preventing blood clots in patients with conditions like heart disease and stroke, but non-adherence is a major challenge.

The program employed two key strategies:

Text message reminders: Patients received timely prompts to refill their prescriptions, promoting proactive medication management.

Reduced copays at the point of sale: Financial incentives helped alleviate cost concerns, potentially reducing barriers to medication adherence.

The study’s key findings demonstrated:

Increased medication adherence: The program demonstrably improved medication adherence for all three antithrombotics, highlighting its potential to translate into better clinical outcomes.

Reduced emergency department use: A decrease in emergency department visits among program participants suggests that improved adherence may lead to fewer acute complications.

Cost-neutral approach: Despite a slight increase in medication costs, the overall healthcare costs remained unchanged, indicating that the program may be a financially viable strategy for improving medication adherence.

These findings suggest that financial incentive and refill reminder programs hold significant potential as a tool for healthcare professionals to combat medication non-adherence in patients taking antithrombotic medications. Further research is warranted to explore the program’s long-term efficacy and generalizability to other medications and patient populations.

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