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Last Updated
September 18, 2014
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September 16, 2014
Generic Statins Show Improved Adherence, Outcomes
A new study by researchers at CVS Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital published in the Annals
of Internal Medicine, is the first to investigate whether starting on a generic versus a brand-name
drug for the treatment of high cholesterol is associated with improved health outcomes. The
analysis found that patients who took a generic statin were more likely to be adherent to their
medication than those starting on a branded drug, and had an eight percent lower rate of the
composite endpoint of cardiovascular events and death.

The researchers reviewed medical and pharmacy claims for more than 90,000 Medicare beneficiaries
aged 65 years and older, with prescription drug coverage between 2006 and 2008. Among patients in
the study, the mean co-payment for a generic statin was $10 compared to $48 for a branded statin.
The main outcome measures of the study were adherence to statin therapy and health outcomes as
determined by tracking hospitalizations for acute coronary syndromes or stroke and death.
"We know that medication non-adherence is complex and very personal and that there are many reasons
patients fail to adhere to therapy," said William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS, senior vice president and
Chief Scientific Officer of CVS Health, and the study's senior author. "Drug cost is one important
factor. This study provides clear evidence that the use of lower cost generic medications, when
appropriate, not only reduces cost for the patient and improves adherence, but also improves health
and reduces mortality."

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge
related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic
institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data
sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. This analysis is part of a multi-year
research collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital to better understand patient behavior,
particularly around medication adherence

September 16, 2014
Kids Hospitalized Yearly for Accidental Rx Drug Poisonings: Study
More than 9,000 children ages six and younger are hospitalized annually for accidental ingestion of
prescribed medications, even though all prescription drugs in the U.S. come in bottles with
child-resistant caps, according to a new study. The message that pharmacists can give to parents
and caregivers is "to keep medicines up and out of sight of children, especially immediately after
use," said Dr. Daniel S. Budnitz, director of the Medication Safety Program at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

September 15, 2014
Implications of Health Literacy for Public Health - Workshop Summary
Health literacy is the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic
health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions. The Institute of
Medicine convened the Roundtable on Health Literacy to address issues raised in the report, Health
Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion (IOM, 2004). The roundtable sponsored a workshop in
Irvine, CA, on November 21, 2013, that focused on the implications of health literacy for the
mission and essential services of public health. The workshop featured the presentation of a
commissioned paper on health literacy activities underway in public health organizations. Other
presentations examined the implications of health literacy for the mission and essential services
of public health, for example, community health and safety, disease prevention, disaster
management, or health communication. This document explains the workshop's findings.

September 15, 2014
Script Your Future Medication Adherence Awareness Event-in-a-Box
The Script your Future adherence awareness campaign is often asked how one can hold a Script Your
Future event outside of the campaign’s five pilot cities.  With the Event-in-a-Box feature it is
easier than ever to hold your own event.  Now anyone can download materials, instructions, tips,
press materials and social media posts to host a Script Your Future adherence awareness event in
their area. 

September 15, 2014
Emergency Hospitalizations for Unsupervised Prescription Medication Ingestions by Young Children
Despite child-resistant packaging requirements for most medications and safe storage education for
all medicines, tens of thousands of young children are brought to emergency departments and
thousands are hospitalized annually after ingesting prescription medications. Targeted prevention
efforts may be needed.  Twelve medications were implicated in nearly half of hospitalizations for
prescription medication ingestions. Buprenorphine and clonidine were most commonly implicated and
had the highest hospitalization rates when accounting for outpatient use. Prevention efforts should
focus on most commonly implicated medications. (Source: Pediatrics)