Financial incentives, electronic reminders do not improve medication adherence

Medication adherence is vital for patients with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), yet adherence remains low. A study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined if wireless technology and incentives could increase adherence and improve patient outcomes.

Researchers, led by Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD, showed how incentives and reminders could improve medication adherence in AMI patients. This study look at financial incentives specifically.

The team looked at AMI patients currently being prescribed at least two to four medications and who were in the hospital for one to 180 days. Participants were split into groups with 1,003 being put into a group using electronic mediation bottles combined with financial incentives with social support and 506 participants in the control group.

Overall, no difference was found in time to first readmission for a vascular event or death, time to first all-cause rehospitalization or total number of repeated hospitalizations.

“A compound intervention integrating wireless pill bottles, lottery-based incentives, and social support did not significantly improve medication adherence or vascular readmission outcomes for AMI survivors,” concluded Volpp and colleagues.