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I’ve been taking the medication Zoloft for years, and I’ll never forget the time when I ran out, and my therapist was away for his annual one-month summer holiday. I left a few messages for the doctor who was filling in for him, but didn’t hear back right away, so I had to skip a couple of doses. It wasn’t a life or death situation, but I became dizzy and irritable, which can happen when you suddenly stop taking Zoloft.
This scenario wouldn’t happen today, thanks to the new world of technology and the development of clever online tools, including CVS ReadyFill, which ensures that my prescriptions are ready when I need them. No longer do I have to deal with the annoyances of calling in or dropping off refills. And, if I’m out of refills, CVS contacts my doctor ahead of time to make sure the script is updated. CVS also calls or texts when my prescriptions are available for pickup. If I stop taking a medication, I simply can opt out of the ReadyFill program. Pretty simple.
I’m currently taking a few meds, so I also enrolled in the CVS ScriptSync program, which lets me pick up all my prescriptions at the same time every month. My friend was beginning to rib me about my frequent visits to the pharmacy. Every time we’d get in the car, he’d say: “I bet we have to have to stop at CVS.” CVS worked with me to determine the best day to get all my medication, but I can change my pickup date anytime, as well as add or remove prescriptions. Now that I live in Brooklyn, and the nearest CVS is no longer steps from my house, ScriptSync saves me a great deal of time (and gas.)
A MASTERFUL SYSTEM TO MANAGE MY MEDS
Even with these conveniences, however, I’d occasionally forget to take my pills, no matter how dedicated I was to refilling my 14-day pill organizer whenever it was empty, Plus, it’s better for me to take one pill in the evening and another in the morning, but my organizer doesn’t have am and pm compartments. The little labels on the prescription bottles provide recommended times, in teeny tiny type, which isn’t especially helpful. The renowned Mayo Clinic recently reported that over 50 percent of Americans take two prescription medications, and 20 percent at least five, so this increases the odds of taking an incorrect dose, or even forgetting to take a medication at all, like I sometimes do. To address this growing issue, and remove the worry out of remembering when to take multiple meds, CVS has created an ingenious prescription management system, called ScriptPath.
ScriptPath Prescription Schedule, at the center of the system, gives me a personalized, prominent, complete and clear picture of my up-to-date CVS Pharmacy prescription information all on one document, including the name of my medications; the best times to take each of them (morning, midday, evening or bedtime), and how much to take in each dose. No matter how much easier the internet has made aspects of my life, I still like printing out my prescription schedule and attaching it to my refrigerator, I’m sure to see it there!
The schedule is generated by an exclusive and robust scientific system that automatically reviews my current CVS Pharmacy prescription information and prescribers’ instructions, and then, using clinical data, provides a schedule of the most effective times of day to take the medications.
“Fifty percent of patients, especially those with complex prescription regimens, struggle to understand when to take their medications, said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., CVS Health Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule can help improve medication adherence (whether patients take their medications as prescribed, and whether they continue to take a prescribed medication), and, ultimately, health outcomes,” Troyen emphasized.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T FOLLOW ORDERS
Medication non-adherence leads to 125,000 deaths and 10 to 20 percent of hospital and nursing home admissions each year, CVS reported. Studies show that a third of patients don’t take their meds as prescribed, and almost 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions stop taking their meds within the first year of diagnosis. “Patients who take their medications as prescribed have better health outcomes than those who do not,” said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Services, CVS Pharmacy.
ScriptPath Prescription Schedule now is available on request at over 9,700 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, and the system, along with a pharmacist consultation, will automatically be offered to the approximate nine million CVS Pharmacy patients who take at least five medications a day.
The two other components of the new ScriptPath prescription management system are a new prescription label and a prescription overview (the info stapled to the bag holding your medication), which are being rolled out in waves this year. Both feature color-coded icons with symbols designating when to take medications, dosage information, and the patient’s name and the type of medication in larger type (yay for that!). The overview also reports receipt & refill Information and notes from the pharmacy.
to check out how CVS wants to help keep you on script.