In 2020, IngenioRx acquired ZipDrug, an innovative service that uses technology to deliver a personalized pharmacy experience. ZipDrug connects eligible members to high-quality pharmacies with hand delivery, custom pill packaging, and individualized expertise. ZipDrug makes prescriptions more accessible for our members — a key factor in promoting medication adherence.
In a 2018 study, The Permanente Journal revealed medication nonadherence for patients with chronic diseases is extremely common, affecting as many as 40% to 50% of patients who are prescribed medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. This nonadherence to prescribed treatment is thought to cause at least 100,000 preventable deaths per year.1 Stu Libby, president of ZipDrug, aims to “reach the front door” of nonadherent members.
ZipDrug is available for IngenioRx members who are 18 or older taking maintenance medication and residing in ZIP codes serviced by participating pharmacies. IngenioRx uses internal claims data to find and contact members who may benefit from ZipDrug. Once a member opts in, we match them with the nearest participating pharmacy and transfer the member’s prescriptions automatically. The process is seamless. No monthly subscription fee or minimum order is required from the member.
ZipDrug’s convenient hand-delivery services overcome multiple barriers to care, from transportation issues to hectic personal schedules. ZipDrug participating pharmacies assure that hand delivery of prescriptions is done when most convenient for each member, at no additional cost. If a member opts into pill packaging services, pharmacies will individually package and label each dose of medication, including easy-to-understand directions. ZipDrug also improves medication management by using medication synchronization, or “med sync.” This feature aligns prescriptions so multiple medications can be refilled and delivered at the same time.
While ZipDrug is a member-focused offering, it is also a valuable tool for pharmacies. We encourage pharmacies to offer outstanding care and achieve high adherence rates. By upholding these quality measures, pharmacies may be able to build their business footprint, improve patient outcomes, and be seen by health plans as trusted partners.
To ensure successful collaboration between members and pharmacies, ZipDrug built Care Control, a propriety software platform that records and communicates patient data. Libby explains, “Pharmacies can view, in real-time, members’ medication history, insurance, prescriber, and previous pharmacy details. Through Care Control, ZipDrug can deploy best practices across its pharmacy network.”
How ZipDrug Can Improve Whole Health
Research shows ZipDrug is working. Early on, ZipDrug studied the adherence scores of members using the program versus the prior year. After switching pharmacies with ZipDrug, the members increased adherence 7%.2
Member feedback has also been positive. Prior to signing up for ZipDrug, member Josephine Serna struggled with medication management. She felt sick from side effects and had not realized she was taking too much of one medication. A ZipDrug participating pharmacist reached out to her, discovered the overuse, and began packaging Serna’s medications together in correct doses. “They did a great job with me,” she says.
ZipDrug has also been helpful to member Nancy Roman, who was tired of waiting at the pharmacy. She recalls facing extreme wait times at the pharmacy, even when she felt sick. Her medicine was not always available, sometimes requiring Roman to walk to multiple pharmacies. When it comes to her ZipDrug delivery, “It’s much better,” she feels. “Any medication I need, they have it.”
Member Beverly Blackett agrees, “[ZipDrug] helps me a lot. … They are nice people that treat you with respect, and they are always on time.”
By offering ZipDrug services to our members, IngenioRx personalizes pharmacy care, while delivering value to pharmacies and plan sponsors. By achieving lower costs, higher adherence, and customized services, we can drive member satisfaction and improve community health.
1. The Permanente Journal. “The Unmet Challenge of Medication Nonadherence,” July 2018.
2. ZipDrug internal data, 2018.