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New Prescription Starts (NPS)

What does new prescription starts (NPS) mean?

The NPS designates when a patient begins a new prescription. One use for this date is to determine when a patient may receive a refill if that is included in the prescription. For example, the patient may only be able to obtain a refill once a month, meaning the first refill date would be one month after the NPS. This metric ensures that patients are not taking more medication than a physician prescribes.

Additionally, the NPS can help doctors see when a patient should begin to see improvements. Many medications take some time to go into effect, and knowing the NPS gives physicians an idea of when a patient should see improvements. If they do not improve by a certain time, the physician may have them try a different medication.

Why is it helpful to count the number of NPS for a drug?

Knowing the number of new prescriptions assigned by physicians but not collected from the pharmacy provides key information about a medication’s performance. While there are many reasons why a patient is prescribed medication but does not start it, prescription abandonment is greatest when the cost is higher, showing that money significantly factors into a patient’s use of a new prescription.

Using NPS and other prescription metrics, manufacturers can weigh the cost of a medication with its production fees and rate of prescription abandonment.