Friday, 20 Oct 2017

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The Cost of Not Taking Medicine

The NY Times points out "there is is an out-of-control epidemic in the United States that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about. It’s called nonadherence to prescribed medications, and it is — potentially, at least — 100 percent preventable by the very individuals it afflicts.

Studies show at least 20% up to 50% percent of prescriptions are never filled.

Nearly 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.

A recent Annals of Internal Medicine article estimated that nonadherence resulted in approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations; costing US health care system $100 - 289 billion a year.

Other studies have shown 1/3 of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti-rejection medications, and 41 percent of heart attack patients don’t take their blood pressure medications.

Patients don't like to take medicine and taking them "reminds them.. they’re sick".

Other don't take them because of cost, complicated regimens, fear of side effects and other social issues. 

It is not enough to prescribe the right drug to the right patient.  Physicians have to build trust with their patients, and in doing so will allow for more effective communication on the need for the meds they prescribe. 

 

Disclosures: 
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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