Managing diabetes is challenging for patients because efforts to control it create lifestyle burdens. Patients must regularly` monitor blood glucose levels, consistently take their medication and make routine changes that favor healthy diet and exercise. If paired with comorbidities and/or denial and depression, it can become even more difficult for patients to manage daily medication regimens. Because of these difficulties, adherence rates to diabetes medications average just 53%, according to reporting from IQVIA (1).
The payoff that improved adherence gives to patients is substantial. According to one study (2), every percentage increase in Medication Possession Ratio (MPR) confers 48% lower odds of poor glycemic control. Another study (3) reported that each percentage drop in self-reported medication adherence is associated with a .21% increase in HbA1c and a 20.9% increase in hospital visits.
A leading injectable diabetes medication franchise partnered with HealthPrize to develop an adherence and education program targeted toward the unique needs of patients with diabetes in order to support improved outcomes. The program – integrated into the brand’s existing patient support portal that offered, among other resources, nurse educators and coaches – utilized HealthPrize’s approach of using gamification, behavioral economics and loyalty marketing best practices to help patients develop the routines and habits needed to manage their medications on a day-to-day basis and get access to the brand’s high-touch diabetes management resources.
The HealthPrize Experience
In HealthPrize programs, patients verified to be prescribed a brand engage daily with educational content and behavioral triggers that support improved medication adherence. Members receive daily prompts via text message or email to report their medication taking. They earn points for self-reporting medication injections, refilling their prescriptions, taking weekly quizzes and surveys, and reading daily health tips. Points are redeemable for gift cards in the Rewards Mall.
Members are also eligible to win monthly leaderboard competitions and weekly sweepstakes based on their levels of engagement. All prescription fills are verified through HealthPrize’s proprietary verification system.
The program’s educational content, delivered consistently through daily tips, weekly quizzes and weekly surveys, focused on themes of critical importance to the brand:
Educating patients on the benefits of taking the brand medication, as well as how and when to take it.
Promoting the brand’s diabetes resources available to patients, such as certified diabetes educators, online coaching, and tools to track a patient’s health progress.
Providing patients with actionable guidance regarding diet, nutrition and exercise.
The program delivered a 2.9 incremental fill increase, representing a 57% lift in adherence, in 2,309 patients verified to be on the brand’s medication.
96% of patients reported that they would miss the program after it ended.
Over 75% of patients completed weekly educational quizzes and surveys, and 60% of patients read the health tips daily.
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According to 2018 IQVIA data on 15 branded diabetes medications
Longitudinal effects of medication nonadherence on glycemic control. Egede LE, Gebregziabher M, Echols C, Lynch CP. Ann Pharmacother. 2014 May;48(5):562-70
Poor medication adherence in type 2 diabetes: recognizing the scope of the problem and its key contributors. Polonsky WH, Henry RR. Patient Prefer Adherence. 2016 Jul 22;10:1299-307.