Mail-order meds provide better outcomes

July 25, 2011 at 10:23 PM

OAKLAND, Calif., July 25 (UPI) -- Patients who got statin medication via a mail-order achieved better cholesterol control than patients who got them from a pharmacy, U.S. researchers say.

Lead author Julie Schmittdiel of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., says patients who received new statin prescriptions from a mail-order pharmacy achieved better cholesterol control in the first three to 15 months following the initiation of therapy than those who get their prescription from a Kaiser Permanente Northern California pharmacy.

The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found 85 percent of patients who used the mail-order pharmacy achieved target cholesterol levels, compared to 74.2 percent of patients who only used the local Kaiser Permanente pharmacy -- across all gender and race-ethnicity groups.

"While the findings of this study should be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial, they provide new evidence that mail-order pharmacy use may be associated with improved care and outcomes for patients for risk factors with cardiovascular disease," Schmittdiel says in a statement.

"Though mail order may not be right for all patients, this study shows that it is one possible tool in the broader health care system-level toolbox that can help patients meet their medication needs."

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