CVS Pharmacy on Wednesday unveiled ScriptPath, a new pill bottle labeling and scheduling system from the same designer who devised Target's popular ClearRxSM prescription system. The drugstore chain is beginning with scheduling and will roll out new labels next year, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.
One in five people report trouble in managing their medications, with the most common challenge being when and how to take multiple prescriptions throughout the day, according to a study by Morning Consult conducted for CVS Health. The new schedule, from designer Deborah Adler, will help patients understand the best time of day to take their prescribed medications to improve efficacy, safety and adherence, according to CVS.
Target pharmacy customers became frustrated with changes to their medication labeling after CVS took over Target's pharmacy operations in stores last year. Although it also bought the ClearRxSM system in the deal, CVS abandoned it — until now.
Graphic designer Deborah Adler first came up with an innovative approach to prescription labeling as part of her master's thesis at New York's School of Visual Arts. Her aim was to curtail medication errors by pharmacists and patients alike.
"Target's initiative to improve the labeling and packaging of prescription medications for patients is commendable," the Institute for Safe Medication Practices said in 2005 when the labeling was first unveiled. "These changes just might represent a great leap forward in terms of patient safety. We hope that their effort will spark additional improvements and change throughout the community pharmacy industry."
Despite such accolades and its popularity with Target Pharmacy customers, the system wasn't widely copied. Initial hopes that CVS would adopt it weren't fulfilled either, until now. It's not clear whether the drugstore chain went back to Adler for a revamped design in response to the frustrations. CVS did not immediately address that after questions from Retail Dive.
A CVS spokesperson did tell Retail Dive that Adler began working with the drugstore retailer "several years ago," and that they collaborated on creating new ways to help patients take their medications safely and effectively.
"So, Deborah’s involvement in this goes well beyond just the new pill bottle labels," the spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email. "She helped design the prescription schedule and dose schedule as well – all which have an intuitive layout with easy-to-understand icons, as well as clear dosage and refill instructions and personalized notes. Deborah has said that the new ScriptPath prescription system goes further than her original ClearRx bottle in terms of helping patients take and manage medications safely."
The new CVS ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is designed for retail pharmacy patients who manage multiple prescription medications. It features what the company says are easy-to-understand icons to display all of a patient's current CVS Pharmacy prescription information in one place. That includes which medications the patient takes, when the patient should take them and the dose.
"By providing them with a clear and concise dosing schedule, which incorporates all of their current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions and reduces the number of times a patient takes medication each day, we can help improve medication adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes," Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS chief medical officer, said in a statement.