90-day Medication Supply from Community Pharmacies Drives Better Adherence while Minimizing Wastage and Reducing Medicaid Costs,

  90-day Medication Supply from Community Pharmacies Drives Better Adherence
  while Minimizing Wastage and Reducing Medicaid Costs, Walgreens Study Shows

Research published in recent Medicare & Medicaid Research Review finds 90-day
   refills at community pharmacies provide significant benefits compared to
                                30-day refills

Business Wire

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- November 07, 2012

A new Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) study examining the impact of 90-day
medication refills at community pharmacies compared to 30-day refills for
Medicaid patients found that across four therapeutic categories, patients with
90-day refills had greater medication adherence and greater persistency,
nominal wastage and more cost savings. The study, titled Medication Days’
Supply, Adherence, Wastage, and Cost Among Chronic Patients in Medicaid, was
published in the 2012 Vol. 2 (3) issue of Medicare & Medicaid Research Review.

The study’s release comes as states throughout the U.S. have aimed to contain
Medicaid pharmacy costs by placing dispensing limits on medication days’
supply (most have a limit of 34 days), in an effort to limit medication
wastage. The results demonstrate that wastage can be nominal across the 30-day
and 90-day channels, and that three-month fills at community pharmacies have
the potential to significantly improve outcomes and lower costs among Medicaid
patients. Many of these patients include those with chronic conditions who
often face major socioeconomic challenges affecting their ability to remain
adherent to medication therapies. Notably, almost half (45 percent) of
Medicaid beneficiaries have three or more chronic illnesses, and this
population accounts for 75 percent of total Medicare costs.^1

Compared to 30-day refills, patients with 90-day refills at community
pharmacies showed:

  *20 percent higher adherence
  *23 percent higher persistency
  *A projected savings of $13.95 per patient per year, after removing wastage
    costs and adjusting for the effects of age, gender and comorbidity

“Our 90-day refill program at our community pharmacies is an innovative health
care solution that can help lower costs and improve patient outcomes, and
another way in which Walgreens is advancing community pharmacy to help people
get, stay and live well,” said Jeffrey Kang, MD, Walgreens senior vice
president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. “At the
time of our study, only 13 states gave Medicaid patients the option to receive
a 90-day medication supply. However, with the growing popularity and adoption
of 90-day refills at community pharmacies, more and more Medicaid patients
have an opportunity to benefit from face-to-face pharmacist interaction and
the personalized care our pharmacists provide. Both patients and the health
care system could benefit from reexamination of these broad state dispensing
limitations.”

For the study, 52,898 patients prescribed to statin, antihypertensive,
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or oral hypoglycemic medications
were identified using California Medicaid claims from the Walgreens pharmacy
chain in January 2010. Adherence is a measurement of how often patients take
their medications as prescribed, and persistency is the length of time
patients continue taking their medications. Medication wastage is defined as a
switch of drug or drug strength within the same therapeutic class that
occurred before the expected refill date.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion,
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for
health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million
customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and
services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services
and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services
includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along
with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower
costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health
systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates
7,944 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and
most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and
in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the
country.

______________

^1 Kronick, R. G., Bella, M., & Gilmer, T. P. (2009). The faces of Medicaid
III: Refining the portrait of people with multiple chronic conditions Center
for Health Care Strategies, Inc.

Contact:

for Walgreens
Dan Zacchei, 212.446.1882
dzacchei@sloanepr.com
http://news.walgreens.com
www.twitter.com/WalgreensNews
 
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