Addressing adherence at the point of care and beyond

From tailored support to personalized messaging, explore how Phreesia can help patients, providers and brands improve medication adherence—together.

Any number of barriers can preclude patients from filling their prescriptions and taking them as directed, preventing them from successfully starting—and staying on—treatment. In fact, between 20% and 30% of patients don’t fill their prescriptions, but it’s not always easy to understand why.  

“Those barriers can vary, depending on which medication we’re talking about and where a patient is in their treatment journey,” explains Monica Garcia, Associate Director of Strategy at Phreesia. “For some patients, the cost of the medication alone can stop them in their tracks. Other patients face logistical issues, such as a lack of transportation to get to a pharmacy, or concerns around the treatment itself, including potential side effects or fear of needles.” 

The impact of these barriers cannot be overstated. Poor medication adherence is widespread: 50% of prescriptions for chronic conditions are not taken as directed,1 and 1 in 3 patients never even fills their prescription.2 Straying from a prescribed course of treatment can land patients in the hospital, with nonadherence causing up to 69% of medication-related hospitalizations.3 

Becoming better partners

Launched in October 2023, Phreesia’s post-script engagement solution helps healthcare stakeholders start supporting patients the moment a prescription is written for them, whether it’s for a new medication or a refill. Following the conversation the provider and patient have in the office, it reinforces the importance of filling and taking a prescription as directed by addressing patients’ barriers directly. 

While patients are the biggest beneficiaries of improved medication adherence, they don’t exist in a vacuum. Healthcare providers and pharmaceutical brands can both leverage the post-script engagement to better partner with patients on their treatment journey. 

Phreesia research shows that 25% of patients do not have a very good understanding of the next steps around their prescription medications, and 29% aren’t sure how to manage their medical condition immediately following a healthcare visit. Those percentages are even higher—32% and 43%, respectively—among patients who have not filled a prescription in the past. 

Through an intent-to-fill survey, the post-script engagement measures how likely patients are to fill their prescriptions, garnering insights that enable healthcare providers to tailor their interactions with, and support for, patients. Proactively notifying providers about barriers at the time of prescription can also help address them weeks or months earlier than waiting for the patient to return in a follow-up visit or relying on claims-based data. 

“A doctor can see if someone is not filling a prescription, let’s say for cost reasons, or because of side effects, and use that knowledge to inform future conversations with that patient,” Garcia says. “The provider can tailor those conversations to help patients discuss the questions or medication barriers they may have previously been too afraid to bring up.” 

Brands also can use these insights to tailor their patient communications. Over time, the post-script engagement won’t just offer insights on the individual patient level but also on an aggregate level, allowing brands to understand the common barriers affecting patients taking specific medications and connect them with resources to address these challenges. 

Supporting patients with personalized content

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to address medication adherence, which is why personalization is so important, Garcia says. 

The post-script engagement can connect patients with resources tailored to their specific needs, including information about patient-support programs (PSPs) that provide education and financial assistance to patients when they’re prescribed a new treatment. 

“PSPs are typically customized to each medication and have robust libraries of resources for patients. For example, they can help patients understand what to expect from a medication or show them how to take that medication,” Garcia says.  

Unfortunately, there is little awareness about these programs. Phreesia research shows that more than half of patients have little to no knowledge of PSPs, and only 8% of patients recall ever using them. 

In addition to providing support based on a patient’s condition and their medication, PSPs also can connect patients with each other, helping them form better support systems to aid in their adherence journeys. Such programs can be particularly helpful to patients with rare diseases who may struggle to find others with the same condition or who have gone through similar experiences. 

By engaging patients just after they’ve received a prescription, the post-script engagement has the potential to make a difference across the healthcare ecosystem. From directly supporting patients in their treatment journey and helping providers tailor their interactions to address nonadherence to providing brands with a critical touchpoint for delivering ongoing support tools and personalized resources, post-script engagement can better help patients start—and stay on—treatment.

Phreesia is committed to making care easier every day. Learn how we can help you reach patients with personalized adherence support and empower them to be active participants in their care.

Request a demo illustration

Activate patients in the moments that matter

Phreesia can bring your message to the right patients and empower them to participate in their treatment decisions


1 Viswanathan M, Golin CE, Jones CD, Ashok M, Blalock SJ et al. Interventions to Improve Adherence to Self-administered Medications for Chronic Diseases in the United States. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2012;157:785-795.  

2 2022 National Institutes of Health Meta-Analysis  

3 Benjamin RM. Medication Adherence: Helping Patients Take Their Medicines As Directed. Public Health Reports. 2012;127(1):2-3.