Sticking Points

There are several ‘sticking points’ that get in the way of patients sticking with their prescribed treatment. In fact, medication nonadherence remains a key area of wasted health care resources. A recent article in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy points out that there are two types of medication nonadherence:

  1. Primary Nonadherence: when a new medication is prescribed for a patient, but the patient fails to fill the prescription within an acceptable time period.
  1. Secondary Nonadherence: when a patient fails to refill a prescription after receiving the first prescription.

Addressing both of these sources of nonadherence can save health care resources by lowering the avoidable health care costs of drug waste, treatment failure, and medical complications. This benefits not only the patient, but also payers and all other key players.

Our pharmacy model at BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy aims to minimize nonadherence by creating numerous touch points with each patient. This includes an initial visit with each patient, when we learn about their current medical issues, past health concerns, concurrent medication usage, and other pertinent information. Then, we check in with patients and interact about adherence issues each and every month while patients are under our care.

Adherence can also be addressed indirectly by connecting with the physician, which we do with ongoing communication with the physician’s office. Our Tap App web tool provides an easy and instant way for physician offices to access real-time specialty pharmacy information and treatment monitoring about their patients under our care. Physicians are even alerted when their patients experience a dip in adherence, allowing both our specialty pharmacy and the physician an opportunity to encourage adherence in the patient. In all, these touch points result in our impressive medication adherence rate, such as our hepatitis C treatment adherence rate of 97.7%.

Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy |

Adams AJ, Stolpe SF. Defining and measuring primary medication nonadherence: Development of a quality measure. JMCP 2016;22(5):516-23.


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