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Defeat Diabetes
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Diabetes Medication Compliance a Major U.S. Issue

Posted: Sunday, October 23, 2011

We need to do a better job. Research by the New England Healthcare Institute shows that patients who don't take their medications as prescribed, cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $290 billion in avoidable medical spending each year.

We have the software to find the prescriptions that don't get picked up or refilled; these unfulfilled prescriptions can be tracked using electronic medical records and prescribing technology. Clinical pharmacy specialists, case managers and other team members can follow up with reminders, phone calls and counseling to get patients back on track.

Consequences of non-adherence can be dire. Studies of heart-attack patients show those who don't fill prescriptions to help prevent another heart attack have a higher rate of death one year later. Meanwhile, patients who adhere to their medications have better health outcomes, and require less care, than those with similar conditions and poor adherence, research shows.

A study published last January in Health Affairs showed that while improved medication adherence for four chronic diseases leads to higher spending on drugs, it also produces substantial savings because of less hospitalization and emergency-department use.

Out-of-pocket costs are a major reason some patients don't take medicine, but even fully insured patients often drop or fail to start a prescribed drug, studies show. Patients sometimes aren't convinced the medicine is important, or they are concerned a drug may do more harm than good. Often, they worry about side effects. Some 32 million Americans are prescribed three or more medications, which can lead to drug interactions and confusion over schedule and dosages.
Medication Facts

    32 million Americans take three or more medications daily.
    Nearly 75% of Americans report not always taking their medications as prescribed.
    Almost 30% of Americans stop taking their medicine before it runs out.
    Only about half of patients with high blood pressure take their prescribed doses of drugs

Source:, PhRMA; National Council on Patient Information and Education; WSJ reporting.

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Defeat Diabetes Foundation
150 153rd Ave, Suite 300
Madeira Beach, FL 33708


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