Medication Adherence – Impact on the Nation

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,690
    Health benefit professional Tom Harte discusses the high cost of medicine non-adherence. As many as 50% of people do not take their medicine correctly, and one-third of prescriptions are never even filled. The value of lost productivity, wages and other economic losses has been estimated to cost our health care system nearly $75 billion per year. Medicine is an important part of healthcare: take yours responsibly.

    Tom Harte: Hi! I'm Tom Harte, Board Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters and President of Landmark Benefits. Today, I'm discussing the high cost of medicine non-adherence.

    Medicine adherence is a fancy word for following doctor's orders. What it really means for the most people is remembering to take your medicine. It may sound simple, but as many as 50% of people do not take their medicine correctly. 1/3 of prescriptions are never even filled.

    Not taken your medication as prescribed is associated with the 125,000 deaths annually, along with 10% of all hospitalization. One and every 50 hospitalizations are caused by poor medication adherence. With a total cost of above $100 billion per year these hospitalizations are both costly and preventable.

    According to American Heart Association the number one problem in treating illness today is patient's failure to take medicines correctly regardless of the patient's age. Adherence to long-term therapy for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease in the United States is estimated to be 50%. This severely compromises the effectiveness of treatments and results in worsening of the disease, death, and increased healthcare cost.

    Access to medications is necessary, but as little impact on medicine adherence. Insurance status does not effect to medication non-adherence. The uninsured and those with have private or government subsidize insurance are just as likely to delay or not fill prescriptions.

    Most often medication non-adherence is a result of the patient being unable, unwilling, or not ready to follow the health recommendations and not taking medications properly hurts our economy. The value of lost productivity, wages, and other economic losses has been estimated to cost our healthcare system nearly $75 billion per year. Medicine is an important part of healthcare; take yours responsibly.