Calls or texts from pharmacies before major storms help prompt people to stock up on their medications, according to a new study.
People who received a call or text before a major blizzard struck the northeastern United States in January 2016 were 9 percent more likely than those who didn't receive a reminder to refill medications before travel became hazardous, researchers found.
"At a time when there is increased risk due to a natural disaster, how do you identify those people most at risk and get them the medications they need to stay at home," said senior author Dr. William Shrank, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, was a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CVS Health, where Shrank served as chief scientific officer.
With a blizzard expected to hit the mid-Atlantic states in two days, CVS Health started to call or send text message reminders to about 2.25 million customers in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.
The people were taking long-term medications for conditions like mood disorders, heart disease and allergies.
The researchers, who included representatives from HHS and CVS Health, then ...