The adherence impact of a program offering specialty pharmacy services to patients using retail pharmacies

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2016 Jan;56(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2015.11.003.


Background: A new service model integrates the specialty pharmacy's comprehensive service with the retail pharmacy's patient contact, giving patients options for medication delivery to home, pharmacy, or doctor's office.

Objective: Evaluate the impact of the new service model on medication adherence.

Design: Retrospective cohort study

Settings: One hundred fifteen CVS retail stores in Philadelphia participated in a pilot from May 2012 to October 2013, and 115 matched CVS retail stores from around the nation served as controls.

Patients: All eligible patients from the intervention and control stores received specialty medications through CVS retail pharmacies prior to implementation of the new service model.

Intervention: The intervention patients were transitioned from retail pharmacy service to the specialty pharmacy with delivery options. The control patients received standard retail pharmacy services.

Main outcome measures: Proportion of days covered and first fill persistence were tracked for 12 months before and after program implementation.

Results: Under the new service model, 228 patients new to therapy in the post period had a 17.5% increase in the rate of obtaining a second fill as compared to matched controls. Patients on therapy in both the pre- and the post-periods had a pre-post increase of 6.6% in average adherence rates and a pre-post increase of 10.8% in optimal adherence rates as compared to 326 matched controls.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated significant improvement in both adherence to therapy and first-fill persistence among patients in the new service model integrating specialty pharmacy's comprehensive services with the retail pharmacy's patient contact and medication delivery choices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Retrospective Studies