Employers: Fighting Non-Adherence

Aug 01, 2011

Andrew Webber
Employers have long been outside the ring when it comes to fighting non-adherence, but that stance is changing. Andrew Webber, president and CEO of the National Business Coalition on Health, shares his perspective on employers as stakeholders in the adherence space.

Pharm Exec: Why should employers pay attention to adherence?

Andrew Webber: A sophisticated employer understands that poor adherence is a waste of dollars, and is a serious risk to worsening of a condition that can lead to additional cost downstream. Smart employers understand that medication adherence needs to be part of a global health management strategy, and are thinking about what role they can play.

PE: What should employers be doing to take a more active role going forward?

AW: Basic employee communications. An employer has a captive audience, many vehicles to communicate to their employees, and established worksite wellness programs.

On June 29, M3 USA conducted a poll of 539 US general practitioners to understand their perspective on patient adherence. The below data are the results of the suvey.
Next is the value-based benefit design. Particularly for low-income workers, the cost of getting and refilling medications might create an economic barrier to adherence. And so, where we know that a medication for diabetes is an effective intervention strategy to keep people out of the hospital, let's think about knocking down economic barriers, maybe even lowering or waiving copays so that people don't have to decide between sneakers for their children and refilling their medications.

Where should primary responsibility for adherence rest?: In your experience, how do patients respond best to education efforts?
The fact is, people do get sick and are chronically ill. And sometimes that's not based on lifestyle; it can be based on things that an individual had nothing to do with, like genetics and family history. For whatever reason, if someone is chronically ill—and this is where a lot of the healthcare costs are for employers—it's in the interest of the employer and the individual to manage that condition. One of the best ways to manage chronic disease, in addition to changing your lifestyle, is to be adherent to effective medications.

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