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According to a new study, “The Pennsylvania Project: Pharmacist Intervention Improved Medication Adherence And Reduced Health Care Costs” led by PittPharmacy faculty member Janice L. Pringle, PhD, community pharmacists can dramatically help their patients stick to their prescription regimens. The findings, reported in Health Affairs, suggest also that greater adherence to certain chronic medications can lead to a reduction in emergency room visits and hospital admissions, thereby lowering health care costs for a variety of health conditions including diabetes and asthma.

About 70 percent of all Medicare patients get their prescriptions filled at neighborhood drug stores, but pharmacists can do more for patients than just prepare medications, said lead investigator Janice Pringle, PhD, associate professor and director of the Program Evaluation and Research Unit (PERU) atPittPharmacy. She noted their training, knowledge and community accessibility perhaps makes them the ideal health professionals to help people learn how and why to take their medications.

Published in August 2014, the article has already been cited in over 11 media sites, including articles in Pharmacy Times, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and Urgentcare.com.

Pringle is an associate professor in the pharmacy and therapeutics department at School of Pharmacy.

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