CVS Health says it will undertake a concerted effort to improve consumer medication adherence, targeting a 5 percent to 15 percent increase by 2017, according to a new edition of the company's Insights reports.

"For the past several years, the CVS Health Research Institute has been focused on building the body of scientific knowledge available related to medication adherence and, through various research collaborations, has published or presented more than 50 adherence-focused papers in peer-reviewed journals and at various clinical conferences," company executives said. "The Insights Report describes complex adherence challenges and actions that can make adherence easier while helping to lower overall costs."

Among the initiatives CVS will employ to improve adherence, the company said point-of-prescribing messaging should enable physicians to ascertain whether generic or otherwise less costly medications are available and appropriate if a patient balks at costs; e-prior authorization could speed wait times for a prescription to be filled; and messages directly to a patient's EHR could alert a physician when a prescription goes unfilled or when a refill is significantly late.

"The reasons why people don't take their medications for chronic conditions as prescribed by their healthcare provider are very personal and complex," said William Shrank, M.D., chief scientific officer of CVS Health. "Over the past several years CVS Health has invested in research to help the industry better understand medication non-adherence. Our goal now is to apply this knowledge and develop new interventions that will enable us to improve adherence for the patients we support."

The report is available here.

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