Statin and Adherence Outreach Helps Maximize Medication Benefits

There is strong evidence that statin medications reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetes or preexisting heart disease. However, despite recommendations for their use, statins are both under-prescribed and underutilized.

At the same time, medication nonadherence continues to be a pressing—yet preventable—problem. According to a 2017 study in Annals of Internal Medicine, 20-30% of medication prescriptions are never filled, and about 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed. This lack of adherence can be life-threatening for patients.

In response, VHAN launched a Statin and Adherence Outreach Program, which uses a population health team to identify patients, then provides support to primary care physicians and patients to improve the statin use measure as well as adherence to other drugs for chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

In 2022, the program included 209 adherence patients and 165 statin patients. The VHAN team created a statin outreach training video and patient care training materials.

Alternatives to High-cost Medications

Additionally, the team offers updates and support related to current trends in pharmacy. Recently, several drug makers announced list price increases for nearly 450 drugs, making it even more difficult for patients to afford their medications and threating to reduce medication adherence. In response, the

VHAN Pharmacy Team compiled a pocket guide for prescribers with therapeutic alternatives to high-cost medications, now available on the VHAN Hub.

This collaborative work between pharmacists on the care team and patients has led to substantial growth of clinical pharmacy services to help manage patients with complex chronic conditions and medication-related problems. Network pharmacists can support VHAN patients and practices with chronic disease management, medication cost or access issues, comprehensive medication reviews for polypharmacy or after a transition of care, or to help solve any other medication-related problem.

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