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Medication Adherence

Clinical Basis

Doctors cite poor medication adherence with diminished health benefits of pharmacotherapy.1 Patients with multiple medical conditions often require treatment with multiple medications, increasing the risk of non-compliance.

Clinical Guidelines

  • Prescribe 90-day supply.

Most SCAN members pay only two copays for a three-month supply for tiers 1 and 2 and receive a $10 discount for tiers 3, 4 and 6.

  • Ensure comprehensive counseling on how to use medications, especially when prescribing for the first time. Educate patients on side effects and proper use.
  • Download and implement the Medication Adherence Project’s toolkit.2
    Note: This is a practical and useful resource office staff can implement easily with provider approval.
  • Suggest auto-refill or refill reminder programs at patients’ local pharmacy.
  • Reduce polypharmacy
  • Encourage mail-order prescriptions.
  • SCAN patients pay lower copays at SCAN Preferred pharmacies.

Preferred pharmacies include but are not limited to Albertsons, Costco, Express Scripts Home Delivery, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. SCAN members can call SCAN Member Services for more information at 800-559-3500.

  • Write a new prescription when you change a dosage.
  • Adopt criteria using the “SIMPLE”3  mnemonic:
  • Simplifying regimen characteristics
  • Imparting knowledge
  • Modifying patient beliefs
  • Patient communication
  • Leaving the bias
  • Evaluating adherence

Medication Adherence Tip Sheet

1Lee JK, Grace KA and Taylor JA, Effect of a Pharmacy Care Program on Medication Adherence and Persistence, Blood Pressure, and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol A Randomized Controlled Trial, JAMA December 6, 2006, Vol 296, No. 21 

2Improving Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Disease: The Medication Adherence Project (MAP) Toolkit and Training Guide for Primary Care Providers and Pharmacists (TheMedication Adherence Project (MAP))

3Scholz M: A “SIMPLE” way to improve adherence, Modern Medicine Network, June 2005


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