LEESBURG, Va., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new RxAlly survey reveals that despite high awareness (63%) of the fact that pharmacists are the health care practitioners with the MOST specialized training in medication management, their expertise is widely underutilized. The survey also found that only 15 percent of U.S. adults have ever discussed a medication maintenance regimen with a pharmacist and only 49 percent have discussed any new medication with a pharmacist. Ahead of National Pharmacist Month (October), the study was conducted online by Harris Interactive in September 2012 among 2,310 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
Additional findings show that less than 20 percent (18%) of U.S. adults trust a pharmacist most to help guide and inform healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. A majority of people trust their doctor most (72%), followed by friends and family (36%), spouses or significant others (36%) and the Internet (22%).
The survey also revealed that 76 percent of adults agree that pharmacists are equally as qualified to answer questions about prescription medications as doctors. However, only 25 percent have regular conversations about their health with a pharmacist and only 39 percent report that they often rely on a pharmacist for medical advice.
Bruce Roberts, CEO of RxAlly, points to medication adherence as one of the problems pharmacists can solve. He says, "There is a significant discrepancy between patient-reported versus proven adherence rates, which underscores the need to leverage pharmacists' specialized training to better educate patients about their medications and how to more correctly take them." Roberts adds, "Ongoing personalized pharmacist care involving regular conversations with a pharmacist is proven to increase adherence rates, improve patient health and reduce costs – a triple win for patients, pharmacists and the entire U.S. health care industry."
The survey supports the notion that this discrepancy is highly prevalent, revealing that 89 percent of U.S. adults said that they always take their medication as directed by their doctor or pharmacist, indicating a clear - and startling - disconnect between patients' understanding of proper medication adherence and their actual usage. In fact, several seminal studies have shown that of the approximately 187 million Americans who take one or more prescription drugs, up to one-half do not take their medications as prescribed. Low rates of medication adherence lead to disease complications, increased hospitalization, drug resistance and even death leaving a void that RxAlly and its performance network of pharmacies are addressing.
Despite the convenient and cost-effective care available to them at pharmacies, many people do not take advantage of it. Survey results showed that only 27 percent of Americans have received a blood pressure screening in a pharmacy and less than a quarter (22%) have received an in-pharmacy flu shot. RxAlly believes immunizations are another key area in which pharmacists are well-positioned to improve patient access to preventative care and avert avoidable healthcare costs.
RxAlly is a performance network of aligned pharmacies united in mission to help patients achieve better health outcomes while reducing costs. The company was developed to provide a new solution to the critical issues of providing additional access to care and ensuring effective health care spending at a time when prescription medicine misuse is associated with $290 billion in annual costs.
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This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of RxAlly from September 4-6, 2012 among 2,310 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact 5W Public Relations.
With more than 22,000 member pharmacies nationwide, RxAlly has brought together the largest national network of pharmacies to improve health and lower costs. The RxAlly Performance Network of community pharmacies aims to improve health through personalized pharmacist care, clinical research and evidence-based clinical practices, and an interoperable technology platform. By advancing the role of pharmacists, RxAlly is facilitating new solutions as it leads an innovative approach to health care that aligns the interests of patients, pharmacists and payers. For more information, please visit us at: www.RxAlly.com, on Facebook or Twitter
 NEHI (December 2011). Improving Patient Medical Adherence: A $290 Billion Opportunity. Retrieved from http://www.nehi.net/bendthecurve/sup/documents/Medication_Adherence_Brief.pdf