Non-adherence is a major obstacle to optimal treatment of schizophrenia. Community pharmacists are in a key position to detect non-adherence and put in place interventions. Their role is likely to be more efficient when individuals are loyal to a single pharmacy.Objective
To assess the association between the level of community pharmacy loyalty and persistence with and implementation of antipsychotic drug treatment among individuals with schizophrenia.Methods
A cohort study using databases from the Quebec health insurance board (Canada) was conducted among new antipsychotic users insured by Quebec's public drug plan. Level of community pharmacy loyalty was assessed as the number of pharmacies visited in the year after antipsychotics initiation. Persistence was defined as having an antipsychotic supply in the user's possession on the 730th day after its initiation and implementation as having antipsychotics in the user's possession for ≥80% of the days in the second year after antipsychotics initiation (among persistent only). Generalized linear models were used to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).Results
6,251 individuals were included in the cohort and 54.1% had their drug prescriptions filled in >1 pharmacy. When compared to those who had their prescriptions filled in a single pharmacy, those who had their prescriptions filled in ≥4 different pharmacies were 22% more likely to be non-persistent (aPR = 1.22; 95%CI = 1.10–1.37) and 49% more likely to have an antipsychotic for <80% of the days (aPR = 1.49; 95%IC = 1.28–1.74).Conclusion
This first exploration of community pharmacy loyalty in the context of severe mental illness indicates that this healthcare organisation factor might be associated with antipsychotics persistence and implementation. Identification of individuals with low community pharmacy loyalty and initiatives to optimize community pharmacy loyalty could contribute to enhanced persistence and implementation.