Ask About Adherence is a blog series featuring Q&A’s with experts in medication adherence. In this post, we speak with Marisa Schauerhamer, a 2016 PhRMA Foundation Young Investigator Adherence grantee, about her research on how value-based insurance design affects medication adherence for patients with diabetes.
Stay tuned for the next Q&A, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you on ways to improve medication adherence!
SAMANTHA DOUGHERTY: What are the objectives of your research?
MARISA SCHAUERHAMER: Improving medication adherence is a goal in the treatment of chronic conditions. My research focuses on medication adherence in patients with diabetes. While there are many reasons why patients may not be adherent to medications, the affordability of medications is one of them. Some employers work with their insurance providers to provide medications that are shown to treat chronic diseases and prevent chronic disease progression at a zero-dollar copayment for their employees and their dependents; this is called value-based insurance design (VBID). The objectives of my research are to assess if offering generic diabetes medications and all insulins at a zero-dollar copayment for patients with diabetes improves medication adherence, improves diabetes control and lowers health care costs.
DOUGHERTY: How do you think your research will help to guide practical, real-world solutions to the adherence problem?
SCHAUERHAMER: My research will help define the effect of VBID on medication adherence in patients with diabetes. My research findings will influence other health plans’ decisions to adopt a VBID for their patients with diabetes. This research will also help define which patients will benefit most from VBID interventions; this is important as health plans decide where to focus their resources to have the most impact on improving medication adherence.
DOUGHERTY: How has/will the PhRMA Foundation grant advance your career in adherence research?
SCHAUERHAMER: The PhRMA Foundation grant has given me the opportunity to focus my time and efforts into assessing medication adherence. Improving medication adherence is a key factor in chronic disease management. I plan to continue to assess ways to improve medication adherence from a managed care perspective and use this grant as a springboard to specialize in managed care methods to improve patient health.
Samantha Dougherty Samantha Dougherty is a senior director of policy and research at PhRMA. Her primary role is to develop and manage a broad portfolio of research projects related to the use and value of medicines. She has authored and been involved in numerous academic and non-academic projects that have been published in peer-reviewed journals or presented at scientific conferences. Samantha also serves as a lead subject matter expert on cost savings from use of medicines, evidence related to adherence, productivity and achievement of better outcomes. She received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Maryland College Park and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research from the University of Maryland Baltimore.