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Am J Manag Care. 2010 Jun;16(6):459-66.

Is there a relationship between early statin compliance and a reduction in healthcare utilization?

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Medco Health Solutions, Inc, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417, USA.



To investigate whether compliance during the first 2 years of statin therapy is associated with reduced hospitalization rates and direct medical costs during year 3.


An integrated pharmacy and medical claims database was used to identify adult patients with a new statin prescription between July 1, 2001, and June 30, 2002. The study tracked statin prescription refills during the first 2 years after the initial statin claim and tracked hospitalizations and direct medical costs during the first 3 years.


Patients were stratified according to compliance in the first 2 years using the medication possession ratio, where 80% or higher is compliant and less than 80% is noncompliant. The relationship between compliance rates and direct medical costs was evaluated using a generalized linear model. Adjusting for covariates that may affect cardiovascular risk, the relationship between compliance and the likelihood of hospitalization was assessed using logistic regression models.


The 2-year medication possession ratio was 80% or higher in 3512 patients (compliant) and was less than 80% in 6715 patients (noncompliant). Compared with the noncompliant patients, the compliant patients during year 3 had significantly fewer hospitalizations (16% vs 19%) and lower total direct medical costs (excluding the cost of statin therapy) ($4040 vs $4908 per patient) (P <.01 for both).


Compliance with statin therapy in the first 2 years of use may reduce hospitalization rates and direct medical costs in the subsequent year.

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