Express Scripts Diabetes Study Shows Switch to Mail-Order Pharmacy Increases Medication Adherence and Lowers Healthcare Costs

Mar 31, 2010, 14:00 ET from Express Scripts, Inc.

ST. LOUIS, March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diabetes patients had higher rates of medication adherence and lower general medical costs after switching to mail delivery of their prescriptions for at least 12 months, according to results of a study released today by Express Scripts, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX), one of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in North America.


The study examined diabetes medication adherence and healthcare costs in patients using mail-order services versus retail pharmacy.

The long-term observational cohort study involved 58,400 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of Type II Diabetes Mellitus who were using at least one diabetes medication.  Researchers designed the study to address a lack of data from previous studies on the effect of mail-order pharmacy on increased adherence — and the ability of increased adherence to reduce medical costs over an extended period.

The results will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Medical Economics and are available on-line (  More information is also available at

Steve Miller, M.D., chief medical officer of Express Scripts, said the results of this study have important implications in understanding the relationship between mail order, adherence and healthcare costs.  "While there are many reasons for a lack of adherence, lack of medication on hand often plays a key role," he said. "Using Home Delivery provides a longer supply of medications while adding both savings and convenience for patients."

Miller added, "The results support the conclusion that patients who switch to and continue to use Home Delivery benefit from increased adherence over time. More than just a means for realizing unit-cost savings, Home Delivery from the Express Scripts Pharmacy enables our clients and members to realize the full value of the pharmacy benefit, both clinically and economically."

Express Scripts applies behavioral sciences to healthcare in an approach it calls Consumerology® to make it easier for patients to start and remain in home delivery.  An Express Scripts program called Select Home Delivery increases home delivery utilization and improves medication adherence by strategically "nudging" patients to accept home delivery while maintaining strong satisfaction metrics.

The study also provides solid evidence that patients who switch to mail-order pharmacy trend toward lower total and diabetes-related medical costs over time, Miller added.  "These medications appear to be doing what the clinical trials indicate they should do: lower the adverse outcomes associated with diabetes."  

About Express Scripts, Inc.

Express Scripts, Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in North America, is leading the way toward creating better health and value for patients through Consumerology®, the advanced application of the behavioral sciences to healthcare. This approach is helping millions of members realize greater healthcare outcomes and lowering cost by assisting in influencing their behavior. Headquartered in St. Louis, Express Scripts provides integrated PBM services including network-pharmacy claims processing, home delivery services, specialty benefit management, benefit-design consultation, drug-utilization review, formulary management, and medical and drug data analysis services. The company also distributes a full range of biopharmaceutical products and provides extensive cost-management and patient-care services. More information can be found at and

Media Contact: Maria Palumbo


Thom Gross


SOURCE Express Scripts, Inc.