Benjamin Horne, Ph.D.

A phone call, email or text can motivate statin-takers to fill their first prescription and stick with their medication regimen, according to a study from Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake City.

Study participants who received personalized nudges based on their healthcare perspectives and needs were more likely to take their medications than those in a control group. They also had a higher percentage of the proportion of days covered based on prescription claims data, reported Benjamin Horne, Ph.D. 

While statins can nearly halve the risk of secondary cardiac events, only about 6% of patients take statins as prescribed, previous research has found. The use of nudges to improve medication compliance makes sense at a time when wearable technology is becoming more popular and more medical treatment occurs outside the healthcare setting, said Horne.

“Given what we know about statins improving long term outcomes for patients with heart disease, just reminding patients to take their medication can give them a much better chance of survival,” Horne said.