Access and Utilization of New Antidepressant and Antipsychotic Medications. D. Compliance

01/01/2000

Programs that monitor patients for compliance with therapy, or providers for compliance with treatment guidelines, are in their infancy. Provider compliance programs usually take the form of monitoring for adherence to a formulary, although programs that monitor for compliance with treatment guidelines are growing in popularity. It should be remembered, however, that treatment guidelines usually take the form of recommendations on overall pathways of care (usually including the use of pharmaceuticals), rather than rigid guidelines on drug choice and dosing recommendations. Therefore, monitoring physicians for the appropriate use of psychotherapeutics is yet to be widely used.

Payers have been slow to implement patient compliance programs, largely because requirements for maintaining patient confidentiality make tracking mental health patients difficult at best. Nevertheless, some employers and managed care plans have begun to implement such programs in the form of call centers or educational programs (e.g., pamphlets). Disease management programs are intended to foster patient compliance; however, pharmaceutical compliance is only one aspect of these programs. PBMs take the most active role in encouraging patient compliance with pharmacotherapy by using various forms of reminders to patients to refill prescriptions.