Pharmacist Engagement Improves Statin Therapy in Minority Populations

Pharmacy interventions and benefit plan designs with low copays could be key factors in helping to improve adherence to statin medications for patients living in minority communities, according to a new study developed in collaboration between Walgreens and the University of Chicago. In these predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods, better adherence was associated with several variables, including copays under $10, the use of 90-day refills, and whether a patient had a health plan other than Medicaid. The study specifically compared adherence rates for more than 300,000 patients focusing on those filling new prescriptions for statin medications at Walgreens pharmacies in mostly minority communities, compared with those filling the same prescriptions at Walgreens in mainly Caucasian neighborhoods. Previous research has shown that the lower adherence to cardiovascular medications among African-American and Hispanic patients likely contributes to a persistent 7-year lower overall life expectancy relative to Caucasians. Pharmacist interventions with patients at risk for low adherence across several medication classes including statins have been shown to improve adherence and lower health care costs. (Source: Drugstore News)