Medication risks can be curbed with software, suggests research

A new study finds that a new program and digital application can detect sub-optimal use of medicines

Medication risks can be curbed with software, suggests research

Canadian employees face a high likelihood of medication-related problems that could lead to serious health risks costs for employers — but they could be curbed through a new program and cutting-edge software.

“Our research finds that employees are not optimizing their use of prescription medications – and that's a huge cost driver for Canadian employers and insurance companies," said Jeff May, president of HumanisRx, a platform that helps Canadians with unique or complex needs get the best results from their medications.

According to May, the trend of issues relating to prescription medication use — which includes incompatible or duplicate medications, higher-than-recommended doses, sub-optimal therapy, or failing to take medication as prescribed — can be reversed through his company’s MedMonitor program and software.

“Using a sophisticated set of hundreds of clinical algorithms, HumanisRx's RxCompanionä software identifies employee medication risks, triages them, and initiates an intervention with a HumanisRx pharmacist,” the company explained in a statement.

“The pharmacist then works with the employee and their healthcare providers to resolve the medication related issues and reduce health risks.

Collaborating with Munich Re, GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions, and Disability Management Institute, HumanisRx conducted a retrospective study of prescription-drug claim data. It came from a sample cohort of GroupHEALTH plan members across Canada who were at least 18 years old, with de-identified records that spanned three years.

After analysing the data using the MedMonitor program, the study found alerts being generated for one out of every four plan members using medications, indicating at least one identified drug therapy problem. Out of the problems identified, 60% were related to safety, which meant that the plan member faced a risk of an adverse medical outcome.

“Based on the outcomes observed in the retrospective study, we believe that there is value to insurers and plan sponsors adopting a proactive medication optimization strategy for their disability management or health and wellness programs," said Mark Foerster, vice president, Group Operations and Claims at Munich Re.

Based on a valuation model developed by Munich Re, the firm estimated that for a population of 200,000 plan members, up to $2.7 million in long-term disability costs could be avoided by proactively identifying medication risks. A similar model developed by HumanisRx, meanwhile, projected short-term disability savings of $3 million for a program applied to the same size population of plan members.

“Through careful monitoring and analysis of plan members' medication patterns, MedMonitor has the potential to prevent medication risks, lower presenteeism and absenteeism, and offer employers dramatic benefits and disability cost savings,” said May.