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Impact Corporate

Increasing Medication Adherence for CVS Health Patients

person with prescription medication and weekly pill container using smart phone to handle refills

Despite the development of automatic refill programs to increase medication adherence, uptake rates for these programs using an “opt in” mechanism can be low. Working with CVS Health, our team developed a solution that made the advantages and disadvantages of signing up for this type of program more salient through “enhanced active choice,” a strategy that offered two choices but highlighted the negative (lack of convenience) in the non-preferred choice. In the enhanced active choice group, CVS members received a voice message presenting two options: “Press 1 if you prefer to refill your prescriptions by yourself each time,” or “Press 2 if you would prefer us to do it for you automatically.”


Implementing enhanced active choice more than doubled the rate at which consumers enrolled in the automatic refill program. Our manuscript about this work won the Best Paper Award at the American Marketing Association Annual Conference. CVS Health implemented this approach across much of their business nationally and by CVS estimates, this intervention has influenced medication adherence for more than 10 million CVS Health members.

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