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by Emily Ross, PharmD Candidate,
Class of 2020

Improving Medication Adherence and Management

Managing several different medications can be overwhelming, confusing and time-consuming. Without effective medication management, errors and missed doses may happen easily. This can lead to ineffective drug therapy and not getting results from taking medications. One key to proper medication management is organization. There are simple ways to create organizational systems into your daily routine to get the most benefit from your drug therapy.

Medication Management Tools

  • Pill Box: One of the simplest ways to keep medications organized is to use a daily or weekly pill box. There are a variety of sizes and colors to fit your needs. These range from simple ones that have a compartment for each day to more complex ones that have dividers for each dosage time (ex: morning, afternoon, evening).
  • Medication List: Keeping and maintaining a current list of all the medications you take is very useful to keep up to date on your treatment. It is important to include all over the counter drugs, supplements, and herbals that you may take as well. Taking this to your doctor appointments and the pharmacy ensures all your providers are aware of your medications and can help prevent duplicate drug therapies and potentially harmful drug interactions.
  • Medication App: There is an app for about anything – including managing your medications! There are several apps available to download to your phone or mobile device. Read about the different features of each one and then choose one that best meets your needs. These are available for both android and apple devices. Some examples are:
    • MyMeds: Connects patients, caregivers, and providers to help have better understanding of current medications
    • MyMedSchedule Plus: Simple and easy to use, offers reminders, pictures of medications and tracks how often the medication is taken
    • The ScriptSave WellRx App: In addition to providing prescription price transparency, the ScriptSave WellRx app allows patients to set Take Your Pill reminders, as well as when it’s time to refill prescriptions.

      The WellRx platform also provides free access to some potentially life-saving functionality:
      • Drug Interaction Warnings: Patients can receive and share warnings with their caregivers when drugs in their personal in-app Medicine Chest might interact with each other.
      • Lifestyle Interaction Warnings: This includes warnings about potential drug interactions with certain foods patients eat, or activities they might engage in.
      • Expanded Drug Information: Patients can view detailed information, images, and videos for drugs within the Medicine Chest. Much of this information is available in English and Spanish.

Tips for Managing Your Medications

Now that you have all your medications organized, the next step is remembering to take them! It is easy to forget or miss a dose of your medication but with a few helpful tips – you can minimize the amount of times this happens and improve adherence.  

  • Reminders: This can be as simple as programming a daily reminder or alarm into your phone that alerts you when it is time to take your medication. You could go the more classic route and have a note that is posted in a spot that you see it every day such as the bedside table, bathroom mirror or fridge. You can also set reminders in the ScriptSave WellRx mobile app.
  • Timers: If a device separate from your phone is more your style, there are several options that can provide an alarm or noise to help remind you that it is time to take medication. Likely, there are many items you already own, such as an alarm clock or kitchen timer, that can be set to the time you need to take medication. E-pill® offers several medication alarms and even has devices that combine pill boxes with reminder alerts.
  • Routine: Include taking medications into a daily routine. First, think of a task you do every day, such as brushing your teeth. Make a point to take your medication at the same time you brush your teeth. By joining the tasks together, taking your medications will become part of your daily routine and decrease the chance of missing a dose.
  • Medication Synchronization: Many pharmacies offer medication synchronization programs that allow you to pick up all your medications at one time. This not only cuts down on trips to the pharmacy but also lessens the chance of allowing a prescription to run out before returning to the pharmacy for more refills.
  • 90-Day Supply: If allowed by your insurance, obtaining a 90-day supply of medication is a good way to have adequate stock and minimize pharmacy trips. Similar to the idea of syncing your medications, there is less of a chance of running out of medication and missing doses.

With all these organization and adherence tips, you’ll be a pro at knowing your medication and taking them on time! There are many benefits that come from organization, such as reducing the stress of managing and taking multiple medications. Additionally, it may decrease health care cost by saving the need for more doctor appointment or medications due to gaps in drug therapy.

These are easy steps that can be done to increase how well your medicines work for you. By using the tools for a good organization system and following the adherence tips, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

References:

Fayed, L. (2019, June 24). How to Manage and Organize Medication for Your Safety. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-manage-your-medication-514511

MyMeds: Redefining the Medication Experience. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://my-meds.com

MyMedSchedule: Free medication schedules, reminders, and health tracker. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://secure.medactionplan.com/mymedschedule/

Pill Timers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.epill.com/alarms.html

ScriptSave WellRx App Makes Medication Management Easier: https://news.wellrx.com/2019/01/23/scriptsave-wellrx-app-makes-medication-management-easier/



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Studies have confirmed that the more medications you take, the more likely you are to have a potentially life-threatening drug interaction. Check out the latest story from CBS News – New York for the latest interview with ScriptSave’s own Dan Johnson.

Dan discusses how the ScriptSave WellRx app can help you potentially avoid those dangerous drug, supplement, and lifestyle interactions.

Concerned About Safely Mixing Meds? There’s An App For That

CBSNewYork – Health Watch

CBS News Health Watch
CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez interviews Dan Johnson, VP ScriptSave, about the ScriptSave WellRx app helping patients better manage their medications.

 

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benzer pharmacy partners with scriptsave wellrx

Benzer Pharmacy Partners with ScriptSave to Provide Prescription Discounts and Grocery Guidance

TAMPA, FL (June 27, 2019) – Benzer Pharmacy Holding, LLC announced today they will partner with ScriptSave® to provide their customers ScriptSave WellRx Premier, which offers discounts on prescription medications, medicine adherence tools, and drug interaction alerts. ScriptSave Prescription Savings Programs have helped consumers save more than $10 billion over the past 25 years.

Grocery Guidance, Medication Management and Prescription Savings

scriptsave wellrx benzer pharmacy app imageScriptSave WellRx Premier is a technology enabled prescription savings and medication management program. ScriptSave WellRx Premier not only delivers prescription discounts to Benzer Pharmacy customers, it will also provide new tools that promote medication adherence and Grocery Guidance to find healthier foods aligned with the customer’s health goals.

“This program is sure to help all Benzer customers, not just those who are uninsured,” Meghann Chilcott, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer for Benzer Pharmacy. “We encourage every customer, regardless of their health care coverage, to keep a card on-hand to reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs.”

Take Your Medicine and Refill Reminders

Customers can download the free WellRx Premier mobile app, which shows the lowest medication prices at local pharmacies, provides helpful medication information and images, grocery guidance for help reaching dietary goals, direct pharmacist support through “Ask a Pharmacist”, and medication reminder tools to promote adherence and wellness, or simply visit the website.

”We sincerely appreciate our relationship with Benzer Pharmacy, and we are excited to provide them with our innovative products. A value-added program, like ScriptSave WellRx Premier, attracts new customers and creates loyalty with existing customers. We look forward to sharing other new ScriptSave solutions with Benzer in the near future,” said Dan Johnson, Vice President of Network Strategy for ScriptSave.  

About ScriptSave:

For 25 years, ScriptSave has been closing the gaps in prescription coverage with innovative savings and adherence programs, like ScriptSave WellRx, for the uninsured, under-insured, and insured. ScriptSave WellRx is designed to boost medication adherence by providing cost saving opportunities, information, prescription management, and reminders. Millions of Americans use ScriptSave products – yielding more than $10 billion in consumer savings on prescriptions.

Twitter: @SSWellRx

Facebook: Scriptsavewellrx

About Benzer Pharmacy:

Founded in 2009, Benzer Pharmacy is a chain of independent retail pharmacies specializing in compounding and specialty medication. Currently, there are 82 corporate-owned and 34 franchise locations situated throughout 29 states, including Florida, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Louisiana, New York, Missouri, Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, and Idaho. Projections call for continued rapid growth as the organization seeks to substantially increase its customer base, while ensuring experiences match expectations at every touchpoint.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BenzerPharmacy

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/benzerpharmacy

Instagram: https://instagram.com/benzer_pharmacy

ScriptSave Contact:

Dan Johnson, Vice President of Network Strategy ScriptSave
djohnson@scriptsave.com


 

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by Jamie L. Voigtmann, PharmD Candidate 2019
Saint Louis College of Pharmacy

There are many aspects in life that can decrease prescription fill rates. This in turn causes medication non-adherence, where patients are unable to take their medications regularly as prescribed by a physician. It’s a common and costly problem across America.

What Prevents Patients from Filling Prescriptions?

Barriers to medication adherence include lifestyle preferences, fear or uncertainty about the effectiveness of new medications or adverse reactions, The complexity of instructions and or drug regimens, personal beliefs, and insufficient funds also come into play.1 Patients who have insufficient funds to pay for medications include, not only decreased socioeconomic status, but also all patients that qualify as low-income based on age, gender, race, location, and family size. Patients who have financial restrictions will commonly delay prescription refills, as well as subsequent copays, by splitting pills, taking pills every other day, or even discontinuing medications on their own. This is because many chronic conditions require multiple medications for treatment and many medications are expensive even with insurance.1

The Low-Income Populations Includes Elderly Patients

As mentioned previously, low-income patients not only include race, location, and family size, but also age. As patients become ≥ 65 years old they are most likely dependent on Medicare for health insurance coverage, since it is offered through the government. Elderly patients who experience decreased prescription fill rates have been associated with having increased out-of-pocket costs with prescription medication coverage, lower net worth, and lower household incomes.2 This is important to consider because as patients age their health often declines, indicating more need for medications. It is also imperative to think about this aspect as many Baby Boomers fall into this category, increasing the number of patients sharing Medicare benefits.

Which Types of Medications Do Low-Income Patients Struggle To Get?

A common misconception is that patients with low-income only have trouble affording newer novelty medications, such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and oncology medications. With these types of medications, many patients including the middle and upper economic classes struggle to pay for the medications due to the outstanding drug cost dictated by the manufacturers. Low-income patients also struggle with common health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Patients who are in a lower socioeconomic class experience significantly less control over their asthma and commonly experience increased exacerbations compared to patients who belong to a higher economic class.3

When considering Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus, patients with high-incomes had increased compliance to treatment regimens including diet, exercise, and medications.4 The high-income patient’s also checked their A1c more often and were associated with higher self-care ability.4 Finally considering cholesterol medications, a recent study showed that low-income patients were willing to give up their cholesterol medications if a copay was present because the benefits are not commonly felt unlike insulin for diabetes or lisinopril for increased blood pressure.5

Low-Income vs. High-Income Prescriptions

It is interesting to realize what types of medications low-income patients are filling at the pharmacy, compared to high-income patients. According to The New York Times, high-income patients receive more cosmetic medications to treat baldness, erectile dysfunction, wrinkles, and eyelashes.6 These patients were also more likely to purchase medications to treat mental health.6 They also had more prescriptions for birth control pills due to a consistent prescription from a regular doctor.6 Medications that are more commonly received by low-income patients include HIV and Hepatitis C, most likely due to lack of education in transmission and poor access to healthcare.6

Lowering Overall Drug Costs

Overall, the relationship between income and prescription fill rates at the pharmacy is much more complicated than low-income patients having decreased prescription adherence.6 Different patients are more likely to develop certain diseases or illnesses that would increase healthcare costs. Patients also differ on when they seek medical attention, resulting in a significant cost even before a physician writes a prescription.6 Regardless of income, it’s important to treat patients with as few medications as possible while still treating chronic conditions to help lower overall drug costs for all patients.

References:

  1. Mishra SI, Gioia D, Childress S, Barnet B, Webster RL. Adherence to medication regimens among low-income patients with multiple comorbid chronic conditions. Health Soc Work. 2011; 36(4): 249–258.
  2. Zivin K, Ratliff S, Heisler MM, Langa KM, Piette JD. Factors influencing cost-related nonadherence to medication in older adults: a conceptually based approach. Value Health. 2010; 13(4): 338-45.
  3. Bacon SL, Bouchard A, Loucks EB, Lavoie KL. Individual-level socioeconomic status is associated with worse asthma morbidity in patients with asthma. Respir Res. 2009; 10: 125.
  4. Habib F, Durrany AM. Effect of age and socio-economic status on compliance among type 2 diabetic patients. Curre Res Diabetes & Obes J. 2018; 7(3): 555714.
  5. Watanabe JH, Kazerooni R, Bounthavong M. Association of copayment with likelihood and level of adherence in new users of statins: a retrospective cohort study. J Manag Care Pharm. 2014; 20(1): 43–50.
  6. Quealy K, Sanger-Katz M. The prescription drugs that rich people buy. The New York Times. February 7, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/upshot/income-strong-predictor-drug-purchases-serious-diseases.html. Accessed March 9, 2019.

 


Download the free WellRx app from the iOS app store or the Google Play Store,
and get registered to take advantage of our free medication adherence tools.

If you’re struggling to afford your medications,
visit www.WellRx.com to compare the cash discount price at pharmacies near you.
You may find prices lower than your insurance co-pay!

 

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  • We think so … and we’ve found others who agree
  • We’ve also released LOTS of tools to help

At ScriptSave WellRx, we’ve lost count of the number of studies and surveys presented that show just how close the relationship is between high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs and the rate of prescription abandonment or non-adherence.

It’s one of the core reasons we do what we do – to fill gaps in prescription coverage, in an effort to make medications more affordable to those who struggle in the face of high deductibles, copays and out-of-pocket costs.

Rather than rehashing another set of adherence survey results (if you’re reading this, you probably understand adherence all too well), we have decided to share some first-hand insights to the importance of medication adherence (and some of the related struggles) from a handful of everyday patients.

Adherence matters, and these patients agree. You can read for yourselves the accounts of these patient advocates, as they tell their own stories, in their own words, about why prescription adherence it so vital.

THEN, once you’ve heard these first-hand accounts, we’ve included details of some free tools that we provide to help patients stay adherent. The ScriptSave WellRx program is so much more than just another prescription savings card. Our members are given access (at NO COST) to many adherence-based tools in addition to our fast, easy, free price-check tool. More details below.

Behavioral Health

The first account is from Gabe Howard. Gabe is an advocate for mental health issues and he lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. As he will attest, life without his psychiatric medications can lead down some pretty dark roads. Read more at …

“Is High Cost Preventing Access to Psychiatric Medication?” – click here

(…and Gabe also posted a short video on this topic via his Facebook feed. You can watch it here – it’s less than 2mins)

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)

Next up is Barby Ingle. Barbie is a minor celebrity in her own right, but she also deals with chronic pain. Read her take on the idea of non-adherence at …

“Free Programs That Help Pay for Prescription Drugs” – click here

Living with Lupus

Then we have Charlotta Norgaard. Charlotta’s daily struggle includes her fight with Lupus, which led her to set up the Lupus Friends & Family Foundation. Read what she has to say about the mere suggestion of non-adherence in here world…

“Prescription Adherence – and why it matters” – click here

Migraine Sufferer

Finally, there’s Sarah Hackley. Sarah’s insights into the topic of non-adherence will give an idea as to what it’s like to be a prisoner of migraines when the budget doesn’t quite stretch far enough to pick up a new prescription for a non-covered drug. Read about her struggles in …

“Affording Prescriptions When You’re Chronically Ill” – click here

Tools to Help with Medication Adherence

It’s a simple fact: drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them. The causes of non-adherence, when a patient either accidentally or knowingly does not take medications as prescribed, can be complex. As we’ve already addressed in this blog post, non-adherence is often the result of cost; patients who simply can’t afford their medications. However, good habits and a good understanding of the medication can also be a big part of adherence.

With this in mind, we created the Medicine Chest. Registered ScriptSave WellRx members have free access to a complete suite of tools and resources, including:

  • Ask a Pharmacist
  • Pill Reminders
  • Refill Reminders
  • Medication Info (in both English and Spanish)
  • Medication Videos
  • Mood-tracking (to review side effects, etc.)
  • Price-check and Pharmacy Locator

Plus, registered members can connect directly to their pharmacies, like CVS or Walgreen’s, to automatically import their existing prescription information!

We hope these first-hand accounts on the importance of medication adherence have helped. Download our free app from the iOS app store or the Google Play Store, and get registered to take advantage of our free medication adherence tools. If you’re struggling to afford your medications, visit www.WellRx.com to compare the cash price at pharmacies near you. You may find prices lower than your insurance co-pay!