Text messages increase medication adherence rate

May 29, 2012

The first large-scale U.S. study linking medication adherence and text message reminders showed improved adherence rates for patients with diabetes and heart conditions.

The first large-scale U.S. study linking medication adherence and text message reminders showed improved adherence rates for patients with diabetes and heart conditions.

The study involving 580 employer-sponsored and Medicare members of a national pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) was published in the May issue of Clinical Therapeutics.

Researchers from technology health services company OptumRx reviewed patients in OptumRx’s text messaging adherence program, My Medication Reminders, between September, 2010, and August, 2011. Participants who were taking chronic oral anti-diabetes medications realized adherence rates of 91% versus 82% in the control group who did not have text message reminders.

In addition, patients who received text message reminders for beta-blocker therapy realized 88% medication adherence versus 71% in the control group.

“Text messages and emerging technologies offer new opportunities to educate and engage patients so they can improve their health and ultimately rein in their healthcare costs,” said Kalee Foreman, PharmD, with OptumRx and lead author of the study.

The study authors noted that additional research is needed to determine if text messaging improves adherence rates in patients known to be non-adherent.