The Pennsylvania Project Pharmacist Intervention Improved Medication Adherence And Reduced Health Care Costs
Author: Janice L. Pringle, Annette Boyer, Mark H. Conklin, Jesse W. McCullough, Arnie Aldridge
Improving medication adherence across the health care system is an ingredient that is vital to improving patient outcomes and reducing downstream health care costs. The Pennsylvania Project, a large-scale community pharmacy demonstration study, evaluated the impact of a pharmacy-based intervention on adherence to five chronic medication classes. To implement the study, 283 pharmacists from a national community pharmacy chain were assigned to the intervention group. Collectively, they screened 29,042 patients for poor adherence risk and provided brief interventions to people with an elevated risk. Compared to a control group of 295 pharmacists who screened 30,454 patients, the intervention significantly improved adherence for all medication classes, from 4.8 percent for oral diabetes medications to 3.1 percent for beta-blockers. Additionally, there was a significant reduction in per patient annual health care spending for patients taking statins ($241) and oral diabetes medications ($341). This study demonstrated that pharmacist-provided intervention is a cost-effective tool that may be applied in community pharmacies and health care sites across the country.