Objective: To determine if patients using human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-specialized pharmacies have greater adherence to drugs used to treat comorbid conditions and HIV compared with patients who use traditional pharmacies.
Design: Retrospective cohort study, with patients' propensity matched based on pharmacy use: HIV-specialized versus traditional.
Setting: Nationwide pharmacy chain.
Participants: Adult patients who filled at least two prescriptions for an antiretroviral therapy (ART). Patients also needed to have at least two prescriptions for an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) or a statin for analyses examining comorbid conditions.
Main outcome measure: Proportion of days covered (PDC).
Results: The adherence analyses for ART, ACE inhibitors/ARBs, and statins included 14,278, 1,484, and 1,372 pairs, respectively. The mean PDC for ART patients using HIV-specialized pharmacies was higher than that for patients using traditional pharmacies (86.20% vs. 81.87%; P <0.0001). Patients taking ACE inhibitors/ARBs in the specialized group also had a higher mean PDC compared with patients in the traditional group (82.61 vs. 79.66; P = 0.0002), as did specialized pharmacy users in the statin group (83.77 vs. 81.29; P = 0.0009).
Conclusion: HIV patients managed by an HIV-specialized pharmacy have significantly higher adherence to medication for comorbid conditions compared with patients using traditional pharmacies. Patients of HIV-specialized pharmacies also have significantly higher adherence to ART compared with peers using traditional pharmacies.