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Anthem Prescription Program Shows a 37 Percent Increase in CHF Medication Compliance

MASON, Ohio, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- More than a third of Anthem Prescription customers who participated in a voluntary study increased their medication compliance for congestive heart failure (CHF) medications after Anthem Prescription provided them with educational materials and tools. Prior to the study, the participants had not been taking their medications as directed and/or prescribed by their physician.

The study was part of Anthem Prescription's ongoing medication safety efforts that encourage customers to take a more active role in their own health care. Pre- and post-study analysis of drug claims among the participating customers indicated overall compliance rates increased by 37 percent on all CHF medications, such as loop diuretics, digoxin, ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers.

"Through this type of program, Anthem Prescription hopes to identify customers who are not taking their medication as recommended, educate customers about the importance of medication safety and increase compliance with drug therapy based on targeted educational materials," said John Schumacher, Anthem Prescription's executive director, clinical programs.

The congestive heart failure study is the latest medication safety initiative by Anthem Prescription and was launched in May 2003, to targeted customers who appeared to not be following their medication regimen, based on claims data. Of those identified as being non-compliant, 13 percent voluntarily participated in the program. Participants received educational flyers, a listing of tips to help improve compliance, a complementary pillbox and a wallet card that allows them to track their medication schedules.

"We started with congestive heart failure because it is a high-risk disease with most patients requiring multiple medications and it is costly to treat," said Lisa Morris, RPh, disease state management -- clinical pharmacist, Anthem Prescription. "Some people become confused when taking several medications and as a result, they may stop taking their medications. Most medical professionals agree that taking medications properly is an important factor in obtaining successful treatment outcomes and improved health."

Additionally, a survey, completed by 47 percent of participating customers at the conclusion of the CHF study showed that:

- 96% understood the importance of medication safety - 96% understood the importance of telling their health care provider about other medications they may be taking - 95% used the pillbox - 90% knew what questions to ask their health care provider about their medications - 82% felt they had taken better charge of their own health - 77% used the wallet card

"We feel this program has been successful because we can demonstrate a positive change in behavior among the participants," said Morris.

The congestive heart failure study was part of Anthem Prescription's Creating Awareness for Medication Safety (CAMS) program. CAMS provides a framework in which Anthem Prescription's medication safety initiatives and programs can release information and tools to customers, physicians and pharmacists to encourage them to take an active role in improving the safety of prescribed medication therapies. In addition to the CHF study, CAMS conducts other initiatives, including proactive pharmacy messaging for drugs with like names, clinical connection protocols that help identify drug duplications and interactions and mailings that educate customers on the appropriate use of antibiotics. Anthem Prescription also distributes mailings to its customers promoting medication compliance for oral diabetic, cholesterol-lowering and anti-depression drugs.

Source: Anthem Prescriptions

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