William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS; Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, PhD; M. Alan Brookhart, PhD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Shrank: Grants (money to institution): National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood career development award), CVS Caremark. Drs. Choudhry and Brookhart: Grants (money to institution): CVS Caremark; Grants/grants pending: Pfizer. Disclosures can also be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M10-1125.
Shrank WH, Choudhry NK, Brookhart MA. The Epidemiology of Prescriptions Abandoned at the Pharmacy. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154:706-707. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-154-10-201105170-00020
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(10):706-707.
We appreciate the responses to our article about prescriptions abandoned at the pharmacy and must clarify several issues. We did not study prescription fulfillment—that is, the rates at which prescriptions written were ultimately filled and purchased by patients. Our measure of abandonment was the rate at which prescriptions were delivered to the pharmacy, filled, and subsequently returned to stock after a patient failed to purchase them. This issue represents a small slice of the overall problem of medication nonadherence. However, it is an important locus in the medication acquisition pathway, providing a unique opportunity to intervene. In addition, abandoned prescriptions are a source of inefficiency, as there is a cost attributable to each one.
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