Prescription drug takers are more likely to take their medication if they receive a text message reminder, according to a new study released Thursday.
Published in the May issue of Clinical Therapeutics, the study found that patients receiving text message reminders had better medication adherence rates than those who did not – 85 percent versus 77 percent. The adherence rates for those taking chronic anti-diabetes medication were even higher – 91 percent versus 82 percent.
The study evaluated 580 employer-sponsored and Medicare members of a national pharmacy benefit manager. According to a press release, it is "the first large-scale study in the United States to examine if a text message program providing medication-specific reminders could increase adherence."
Previous research has shown a similar positive impact; however, these studies were smaller in scope, often with fewer than 100 participants, and focused on homogenous patient groups, such as those who are being treated for the same disease.
“This research provides strong evidence that technology can play a vital role in improving medication adherence, even among older patients,” said Brian K. Solow, M.D., chief medical officer, OptumRx. “This is of great importance to all stakeholders in health care because poor medication adherence can lead to inferior treatment outcomes, higher hospitalization rates and increased health care costs.”
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