HealthPrize releases study results focused on "gap days" and medication adherence

By Jonah Comstock
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HealthPrize, a Norwalk, Connecticut-based medication adherence platform company, released data this week demonstrating a 99 percent reduction in “gap days” — days between running out of a medication and filling that medication — in patients using its program. 

The data comes from a cohort of 1,085 patients taking a branded cholesterol-lowering medication (HealthPrize wasn’t able to disclose which company made the drug). Before enrolling in the program, mean gap days were 8.81. Afterward, they dropped to 0.06.

The patients were “some of the brand’s best patients” according to Tom Kottler, CEO and cofounder of HealthPrize.

“One of the things we keep saying is nonadherence is not about cost or forgetfulness, it’s about human psychology,” Kottler told MobiHealthNews. “So even these [relatively adherent] people have on average nine gap days between fills. The best you can be with nine gap days is 70 percent adherent, so you are not really an adherent patient, even if you stay on therapy.”

The intervention didn’t really include a tool specifically designed to reduce gap days. Rather, HealthPrize chose to look at gap days as a proxy for medication possession ratio (MPR), which Kottler believes to be the gold standard in measuring adherence. Once this cohort has been using HealthPrize for a longer time, the company intends to release more adherence data, including MPR data. Still, Kottler thinks gap days are an important measure that the HealthPrize platform allows them to measure. 

“It’s an important behavior to change, among other patient habits we work on changing for patients,” he said. “What’s important about it is we’re the only ones talking about it. Most people talk about adherence in a monolithic fashion instead of breaking it down into the many smaller problems that it really is.”

As a result, the company is now looking into adding a gap day tracker into the HealthPrize interface, to help make people more aware of how they miss doses when they fail to refill their medication.