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CVS Caremark Report: Medication Non-Adherence in U.S. Costs Up to $290 Billion Annually

July 4, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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The U.S. healthcare system could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year by improving medication adherence

The U.S. healthcare system could save hundreds of millions of dollars if medication adherence rates improved, according to a new report from CVS Caremark.

In a press release published on June 27, executives at the Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Caremark announced the release of a report entitled “2012 State of the States: Adherence Report.” Drawing on data from the 2012 CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) book of business, the report projects potential cost savings within each state by examining medication adherence rates and the use of generic drugs across for common health conditions: diabetes hypertension, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol), and depression. The potential cost savings among the states range from $19 million to $2.1 billion, the report finds, based on state member characteristics.

In addition, in looking at diverse market segments—health plans, employer-sponsored plans, and Medicare Part D plans—the report’s researchers find that medication non-adherence in the U.S. accounts for up to $290 billion in excess healthcare costs annually. In addition, the report notes, such interventions as pharmacist counseling are cost-effective, and contribute to improved adherence behavior among patients/consumers.



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