Timely Communications Improve Medication Adherence in Members with Type 2 Diabetes

Timely Communications Improve Medication Adherence in Members with Type 2 Diabetes

As a disease with no specific cure and stringent requirements required for self-management, Type 2 Diabetes can cause life-threatening issues for patients if not properly controlled through continuous medication. With over 422 million people worldwide living with diabetes, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 90 percent of those with diabetes have been diagnosed with the Type 2 variety.

As the WHO study references, complications from diabetes can increase the overall risk of dying prematurely, with other complications related to heart attack, stroke, amputation, and kidney failure, among other medical issues.

For many Type 2 diabetes sufferers, adherence to medication related to the control of diabetes can greatly improve outcomes for patients. As a study by the National Institutes of Health mentions, less than 50% of patients do not follow medication adherence guidelines for Type 2 diabetes as recommended by the American Diabetes Association, which translates into more serious health issues related to their diabetes condition. Medication Adherence Type 2 Diabetes

As evidenced by the NIH study, interactions between patients and healthcare providers offers an impact on medication adherence for Type 2 patients. A French ENTRED study showed that positive medication adherence was associated with regular follow-ups related to reminders associated with good patient and healthcare provider interactions, while a lack of relationship related to medication reminders between patients and providers had the opposite effect, with less adherence to medications and glucose monitoring.

To promote medication adherence, there are several avenues available that can help drive medication adherence; one factor that was shown to offer higher levels of medication adherence was related to family support. A study by the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders showed that the levels of medication adherence rose significantly when family members were involved in the process of managing medication adherence versus a control group that had no similar family support.

Another area of success for medication adherence is the use of text messaging for diabetes patients to help stay in compliance with medication programs. A University of Chicago Medicine pilot program using text message reminders for diabetes patients has shown success for enhancing patient support and self-care for chronic conditions.

The program showed promise for patients, with an average decrease of HbA1c levels from 7.9% percent to 7.2% percent, while individuals that had the most poorly controlled HbA1c levels dropped from 10.3% percent to 8.5% percent in only six months.

The University of Chicago Medicine text messaging program showed a “significant decrease in health care costs compared to the pre-test period. The total cost of care declined $812 per participant, reflecting a savings of $1,332 in inpatient, outpatient and emergency department visits, offset by a $520 increase in drug costs, according to program researchers.  73 percent of participants said they were satisfied with the program, with 88 percent pointing to interaction with a health professional as an important factor in their engagement.”

Additional text messaging programs for diabetes patients have been undertaken, including a program at New York’s Bellevue Hospital, that has shown great promise, with data showing that 88 percent of the participants in the program were able to get blood sugars within acceptable range versus 37 percent in the control range, emphasizing the importance of texting messaging programs to grow medication adherence for Type 2 diabetes sufferers.

Medication adherence for Type 2 Diabetes patients will continue to be an important area as health care providers, PBMs and patients look to manage the adherence process to lower overall healthcare costs for better patient outcomes. To find out how RxEOB can assist PBMs or your healthcare organization to lower medication adherence costs for Type 2 diabetes patients and other patients with chronic conditions, please contact us at 888-648-0989 ext. 226, or email us at info@rxeob.com.