Text Messages with Educational Videos Significantly Improve Patient Adherence to Newly Prescribed Medications

Study evaluates effect of videos with educational information about the patient's prescription

Lake Mary, Fla. (September 21, 2020) – Educational videos delivered via text message significantly improve patient adherence to newly prescribed medications, according to a new study by VUCA Health, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA), and Liberty Software. Results of the study will be presented at the American Public Health Association’s Virtual Annual Meeting and Expo on October 27.

Primary medication nonadherence (PMN) occurs when a new medication is prescribed, but the patient does not obtain the medication, or an appropriate alternative, within an acceptable time period. Up to 30% of prescriptions are not picked up from the pharmacy by patients taking a new medication.

As pharmacies and other healthcare organizations work to improve adherence with digital engagement tools like text messaging or voice devices, they must consider the content delivered through these messaging platforms and its impact on outcomes.

In the study, patients received a text message with a video about their newly prescribed medication. The videos included educational information about the patient's prescription, including why it is important to take and potential side effects. The study found a statistically significant improvement of PMN in patients who received a video versus those who did not.

“One of the contributing factors to poor adherence and patients not taking their medications as prescribed is low health literacy,” Richard Waithe, PharmD, President of VUCA Health, said. "The results of this study and positive impact on PMN strengthens our belief that patient-friendly video content is an essential piece of the puzzle for effective patient engagement and improving outcomes.”

“This study reinforces our belief that innovative technology can have a huge impact on patient care in pharmacies.” Jeremy Manchester, Executive Vice President of Liberty Software, said.  “What is really exciting here is that the text messages were automatically triggered so these positive results were achieved without increasing the pharmacists’ workload.”

“This collaborative initiative is part of PQA’s growing medication access research portfolio,” Patrick Campbell, PharmD, PhD, PQA’s Senior Director of Research, said. “The positive impact of these educational videos on primary medication nonadherence rates underscores the importance of health literacy in the patient’s medication access journey.”

The study analyzed 6,311 newly initiated prescriptions for 4,038 patients from September 2018 to January 2019. Data from March 2018 to February 2019 were used to account for a 180-day lookback period and a 5-month assessment period.

This activity was supported through an independent educational grant from Merck & Co., Inc.


About VUCA Health
VUCA Health provides a gateway to patient engagement that serves as an on-demand extension of pharmacists and other healthcare providers. The company has built the most extensive library of medication education videos, available in both English and Spanish, that can integrate into websites, mobile apps, and patient portals. Learn more at and connect on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram @VUCAhealth.

About Liberty Software
Liberty Software is a healthcare software company that provides software and services to independent community pharmacies. Liberty Software's pharmacy software platform helps pharmacists enhance patient care, improve profitability, and increase patient safety. Liberty Software is rapidly growing across the US, including Hawaii, Alaska, and the territory of Puerto Rico. For more information about Liberty Software, please visit

About PQA
PQA, the Pharmacy Quality Alliance, is a national quality organization dedicated to improving medication safety, adherence and appropriate use. A measure developer, researcher, educator and convener, PQA’s quality initiatives support better medication use and high-quality care. A non-profit organization with more than 250 diverse members across healthcare, PQA was established in 2006 as a public-private partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shortly after the implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit. Learn more at and connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Contact: Richard Schmitz, PQA Senior Director of Communications, [email protected] or 703-347-7931