Chancy Drugs Promotes Patient Adherence

Barbara Kieker

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, the next killer app in reducing health care costs is getting patients to take their meds. The article cites evidence that getting patients to take their meds as prescribed can lower health care spending and improve patient outcomes. That's not news to Hugh Chancy, co-owner of Chancy Drugs, a family-owned compounding pharmacy with four locations in Georgia.

"One of the biggest issues facing the health care and pharmacy industries is patient adherence. Patients are not taking their medication properly and it's costing a lot of money," Chancy said.

According to a study by CapGemini Consulting, on average 69 percent of patients fill their first prescription and only 43 percent continue treatment as prescribed after six months.  Avoidable medical spending due to lack of patient compliance was estimated at $300 billion in the U.S. in 2009 in that same study.

"As pharmacists, we're on the front line of this issue. Our patients depend on us and trust us. We're working with patients to make sure they stay in compliance with their doctor's orders," Chancy said.

Promoting patient adherence

Chancy Drugs is in a trial partnership with a local business to help keep their employees accountable for their good health. That includes ensuring employees take their prescribed medications as directed and take other preventive measures such as getting flu shots.

"Businesses are realizing that their employees' health care impacts their pocketbook. If employees are adherent patients, then costs should go down," Chancy said.

Chancy Drugs also promotes patient adherence directly with its retail customers. They offer a ReadyMed synchronization program that helps patients manage multiple prescriptions. By synchronizing refill dates, patients can make one trip to the pharmacy and are less likely to let a prescription run out.

"We also keep in touch with patients during the month. Even one call provides a level of accountability that can help patients stay in compliance," Chancy said.

The pharmacy also has the ability to package medications by the dose or by the time or day using a robot at their Hahira location. Available to customers at all Chancy Drug locations, this service simplifies the process for patients who take multiple medications.

Focused on people

A family-owned business that was started by Hugh Chancy's parents in 1966, Chancy Drugs is focused on people.

"We make a difference one person at a time by serving their needs as best we can. I grew up with this model and I believe if you stay focused on people – both customers and employees – then the rest will take care of itself," Chancy said.

Compounding drugs is one more thing the pharmacy does to better serve people. The service grew out of the need to provide better pain relief to those in suffering. Chancy experienced it firsthand with his father-in-law who got cancer and couldn't get relief from the pain and nausea.

"After seeing that we wanted to do something to meet needs that weren't being met with traditional products. There is a company in Texas that teaches compounding so we went there and got trained," Chancy said.

Most of the compounding work is done for pain management and hormone replacement therapy. It also can provide custom flavors to help children take a bitter medication or provide relief from nausea that may be a side effect of a medication.

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.