CVS’ ScriptPath Prescription Schedule: Simplifying Medication Labeling

CVS Pharmacy has launched a new service called ScriptPath to simplify how patients take their medicine.  ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is phase one of a larger strategy for CVS to improve the medication adherence in its patients.  Any patient who currently takes 5 or more medications a day qualifies to have a schedule printed in a format where each medication is categorized with instructions on when to take it and how much to take in a large, easy to read, color-coded format.  The idea is to make taking one’s medications appropriately as simple as possible.  Phase Two of this plan will launch in January 2018, which will replace all prescription labels with ones possessing a similar appearance to the ScriptPath sheet.  Ideally, these labels will allow a patient to line up their medications in a row and immediately know which drugs to take at what time and dose.

CVS ScriptPath

Photo Source: CVS Health website. https://cvshealth.com/about/our-offerings/cvs-pharmacy/scriptpath-prescription-scheduling-made-easier

The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule runs on a proprietary software algorithm that analyzes each prescription drug a patient takes then determines when is the best time for the patient to take the drug, depending on dosing, indication, interactions, side effects, etc.  The recommendations are based on clinical data to ensure the medications are taken at the most effective times.  This schedule determination is an automatic process that is triggered whenever a prescription is filled.  Currently, the dosing times are morning, midday, evening, and bedtime.  Medications are also divided into “routine”, “as needed”, and “other” to further highlight when medications should be taken.

This program will help patients manage a multidrug therapy regiment.  Knowing when a patient should take a once, twice, or three times daily dose, medication adherence should increase, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.  Using icons and numbers, rather than words or abbreviations, allows language or health literacy barriers to be reduced.  The ScriptPath schedule and labels will act to reinforce the appropriate times for a patient to take their medications.  The CVS software system will require frequent updates, as new therapeutic agents and clinical research or guidelines are continuously being released.  CVS has made a considerable commitment in both clinical and IT resources launch and help maintain the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule.

CVS spent a considerable amount of time in developing a product that was not only functional, but also featured a design that was easy to use and understand.  It is PHSI’s belief that ScriptPath is one of many drug packaging and labeling options that will help improve medication use and adherence.  ScriptPath has the potential to improve medication adherence and health outcomes without increasing the workload of the pharmacist.

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