copyright: 123rf_Panya Piyaprakongsri

Express Scripts Canada is launching a medication non-adherence, early-detection program in 2020 to identify plan members who are most likely to cease taking their prescription medications.

The program will use proprietary predictive modelling to analyze prescription drug claims and determine who is at risk for potential non-adherence in the future, according to a press release.

“Encouraging adherence is our priority and being able to know who is at risk for non-adherence is half the battle,” said Dorian Lo, president of Express Scripts Canada. 

Read: Growing use of specialty drugs putting pressure on plan sponsors: report

The program will take a proactive, personalized approach to encouraging adherence, which will include renewal and refill reminders for plan members. “We know that it’s not enough to know who is going to be non-adherent,” said Lo. “It requires proactive adherence opportunities and member intervention in order for medications to work.”

Medication non-adherence can result in patients experiencing worsening conditions, which could lead to short-term leave, hospital visits or extra medical testing, the release noted.

According to Express Scripts Canada, failure to take medication as prescribed is something that affects a majority of patients, though it’s particularly found in patients who take multiple medications. Indeed, the company’s 2019 drug trends report reported 77 per cent of plan members taking four or more medications were more likely to be non-adherent to at least one treatment, in comparison to 58 per cent of those taking two or three medications and 44 per cent taking just one.

It also found 70 per cent of plan members with asthma, 47 per cent of those with cancer and 45 per cent of members with diabetes didn’t adhere to their prescription.

Read: Which health conditions are impacting benefits plans?

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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