Medication-related issues are negatively affecting employees’ health, causing them to take extended leaves from their jobs and leading to high benefits and disability costs for employers, according to a new white paper by HumanisRx.

These issues include incompatible or duplicate drugs, higher than recommended doses, suboptimal therapy and failure to take medications as prescribed.

“Our research finds that employees are not optimizing their use of prescription medications, and that’s a huge cost driver for Canadian employers and insurance companies,” said Jeff May, president of HumanisRx, in a press release.

Read: 2019 Drug Plan Trends Report: What’s next for drug plans?

The company, in collaboration with Munich Re Group, GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions and Disability Management Institute, recently conducted a study examining drug claims data. It found alerts were generated by one in every four plan members using medications, indicating at least one identified drug therapy problem that may have been related to a safety risk, suboptimal therapy or failure to take the drug as prescribed. As well, it found almost 60 per cent of the drug therapy problems identified were due to safety, meaning the plan member was at risk of an adverse outcome.

HumanisRx introduced a medication optimization program called MedMonitor to address these and other issues. Using clinical algorithms, the software identifies employee medication risks, triages them and initiates an intervention with a HumanisRx pharmacist. The pharmacist then works with the employee and their health-care providers to resolve the medication-related issues.

Read: A look at pharmacists’ role in supporting drug adherence

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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