Dangers of Ditching Medication

Americans are not filling or taking their medications as prescribed. The problem costs more and affects more people than any one disease.

Pharmacist Dorothy Wilkes explains the risks associated with medication non-adherence, and to offers tips to reduce the cost of medications, including discounts available to those who pay cash for medications due to either lack of health insurance or coverage for specific medications and more!

The big takeaway: Don’t delay treatment. Filling your prescription as soon as it is prescribed will help your health and save you money down the road!

The failure to take medications as prescribed, also known as non-adherence, is a serious problem that can lead to substantial worsening of a disease, increased health care costs and even death. Estimates show 1 in 5 new prescriptions are never filled. Of those patients who do fill their prescription, 50% take their medication incorrectly or inconsistently, and 29% will stop taking them due to side effects. Non-adherence is to blame for up to 50% of treatment failures, 33-69% of all hospitalizations, and approximately 125,000 deaths every year.

How does non-adherence impact people living with common chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and asthma?
• Non-adherence is related to the premature death of 89,000 people living with hypertension
• 52% of people with diabetes and heart disease increase their chance of premature death because of non-adherence
• Patients with diabetes who are non-adherent to their meds spent over $210M more in health care than adherent patients