LinkPad: Rx Access and Adherence

During a panel on digital advocacy at this year’s BIO International Convention, I made a statement that raised some eyebrows, “Innovations don’t matter if patients don’t have access to them.” Ensuring that patients have access to the innovative medicines that improve health and wellness should remain a top priority among health stakeholders. In particular, removing access barriers helps patients better adhere to their medical treatment. Medication adherence provides critical support for a healthy, active lifestyle, but far too often, patients do not take their medications as recommended. This week’s LinkPad looks at recent efforts to help support policies that improve access to medications and treatment adherence.

  • Yesterday, the Council for Affordable Health Coverage launched Prescriptions for a Healthy America: A Partnership for Advancing Medication Adherence to advance solutions that help reduce health care costs and improve patient health across the nation.
  • A survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies to coincide with the launch of the partnership highlighted national attitudes towards medication adherence.
  • An article in Forbes discusses how increasing medication adherence can help to lower health care costs, and the new technologies that make adherence easier for patients.
  • ZocDoc COO and Founder, Oliver Kharraz M.D., explains the role that doctor-patient relationships play in promoting medication adherence.

Tackling adherence barriers represents one route to lowering health costs and improving sustainability in the health care system. While the variance and breadth of these barriers provides a challenge, Executive Director of the Health IT Now Coalition, Joel White points to Medicare Part D as one successful program to increase patient access to medicines. Policies, like Part D, that help minimize factors that contribute to non-adherence can play an important role in improving patient health, reducing the strain on the health care system, and ultimately, bolster the sustainability of the system as a whole.