UnitedHealthcare Announces Winners of 2013 Medication Adherence Tip® Challenge

December 18, 2013
  • Pharmacies recognized for efforts to improve Medicare beneficiaries' health and well-being by helping them use their medications at the right time and dose
  • UnitedHealthcare donates $100,000 to NACDS Foundation on behalf of winners

UnitedHealthcare announced the winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence Targeted Intervention Program (TIP®) Challenge benefiting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation. The company presented a $100,000 donation to the foundation on behalf of the winning pharmacies at the    15th annual NACDS Foundation Dinner in New York City earlier this month.

UnitedHealthcare created the challenge to recognize the pharmacies in its network that have been most successful at helping its Medicare Advantage-Part D plan members take their prescription medications appropriately, thereby helping to enhance their health and well-being.

UnitedHealthcare donated $10,000 to the NACDS Foundation on behalf of each of the winning pharmacies – five in the large retail pharmacy chain category, and five in the small retail pharmacy chain and independent community pharmacy category.

The winning pharmacies in the large retail pharmacy chain category are:

  • Walgreens
  • Hy-Vee
  • Fred's Super Dollar
  • Giant Eagle
  • New Albertson's, Inc. and SUPERVALU, Inc.i

The winning pharmacies in the small retail pharmacy chain and independent community pharmacy category are:

  • Discount Drug Mart, Medina, Ohio
  • Navarro Discount Pharmacies, Medley, Fla.
  • Kerr Drug, Raleigh, N.C.
  • LI Script LLC, Woodbury, N.Y.
  • Sunshine State Pharmacy, Coral Springs, Fla.

Through education, research and charitable involvement, the NACDS Foundation helps people improve their health and quality of life through an understanding of medication therapy and the importance of taking medications appropriately. The foundation strives to enhance patient care services in neighborhood pharmacies and the health care system at large by supporting research initiatives, scholarships for pharmacy students and continuing education programs that focus on patient-centered care in the community pharmacy setting.

"We are grateful for the generous donation from UnitedHealthcare and appreciate the opportunity to be the beneficiary of its unique competition to encourage medication adherence among members of its Medicare plans," said Kathleen Jaeger, president, NACDS Foundation.

The winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence TIP® Challenge markedly improved medication adherence among a group of UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage-Part D plan members.

UnitedHealthcare notified the participating pharmacies of customers who could benefit from medication therapy management services based on their risk for medication non-adherence. For example, customers with a pattern of not filling prescriptions or picking up refills were flagged for the participating pharmacies. Pharmacists then worked with these customers through one-on-one consultations to help address their individual barriers to medication adherence, such as cost of their medications, memory problems that cause patients to forget to take their medications, or confusion related to the complexity of their medication regimens.

When appropriate, pharmacists also informed their customers' physicians of opportunities to consider evidence-based therapy protocols that could benefit the customer.

The pharmacies in each challenge category were ranked based on their customers' medication adherence rates. The top five pharmacies in each category were recognized as the winners.

According to a 2011 report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, nearly 75 percent of adults do not take their medications as prescribed, which limits the drugs' effectiveness, increases the risk of poor health outcomes and raises the overall cost of care.ii Medication non-adherence is an especially significant issue among seniors, given that approximately 90 percent of adults over 60 take at least one prescription medication, and more than a third take five or more prescription drugs.iii

"Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries who follow their medication regimen as prescribed by their physician are taking an important step in achieving optimal well-being, and many of them turn to their pharmacist for help and guidance," said Jack Larsen, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "We applaud the winning pharmacies in our Medication Adherence TIP® Challenge who take their role in helping to improve their customers' health seriously."

Serving nearly one in five Medicare beneficiaries, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement is the largest business dedicated to meeting the health and well-being needs of seniors and other beneficiaries. The company is the market leader in Medicare Advantage plans, Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare supplement plans.

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.


i On March 23, 2013, SUPERVALU closed a transaction that sold more than 470 pharmacy locations to New Albertson's, Inc. Both companies' pharmacy operations contributed to the results of the UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence TIP® Challenge.

ii Improving Prescription Medicine Adherence is Key to Better Health Care, PhRMA, January 2011 http://phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/PhRMA_Improving%20Medication%20Adherence_Issue%20Brief.pdf

iii Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: U.S. Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008, National Center for  Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db42.htm

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