Time & Attendance
Prevent Call Outs
Implementation & Launch
By Nadina J. Rosier
Mar. 21, 2018
The first digital pill, Abilify MyCite, is a treatment for schizophrenia aimed at improving patient adherence.
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2017, Abilify MyCite includes an ingestible sensor, a small wearable sensor patch, a mobile app and a web-based portal for use by medical professionals in addition to the medication.
Now, with more digital pills for additional uses on the way, plan sponsors should be asking three questions before including digital pills in their pharmacy benefit plans.
Further, forgetfulness is the culprit in nonadherence just one-third of the time. Other factors that affect whether patients take their prescribed medications include the high cost of some prescription drugs, physical side effects and psychological barriers. A digital pill that simply informs whether a patient does or does not take their medicine does little to solve these problems.
There is no one solution to the complicated issue of nonadherence — which could explain why plan sponsors have not yet enthusiastically embraced any of the technology solutions designed to solve it.
These are early days of digital pills. With pharmacy benefit managers and plan sponsors dealing with the larger and more immediate issue of the rising cost of specialty pharmaceuticals, it remains to be seen how much time and effort they will put into measuring where and how digital pills might make a dent in overall pharmacy costs and improved outcomes — if they do at all.
Nadina J. Rosier is the North America health and group benefits pharmacy practice leader at Willis Towers Watson. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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