Medication Compliance/Adherence

Medication compliance (sometimes referred to as adherence) is generally defined as following a medication treatment plan developed by a patient’s health providers, filling prescriptions and taking medicines as prescribed.

In the United States, medication compliance is a growing problem, costing as much as $290 billion per year:

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans don’t take their medications as directed, resulting in serious health consequences;
  • 1 out of 3 people never fill their prescriptions;
  • Nearly 45% of the population has one or more chronic conditions that require medication; and
  • More than 1/3 of medication-related hospital admissions are linked to poor compliance.*

As an increasing number of employers recognize the economic impact that non-compliance has in the workplace, many are developing compliance programs to help employees remain healthy, avoid lengthy hospitalizations or complications, and stay productive on the job.

Steps some employers are taking include targeted education and medication reminder programs, lowering co-payments or reducing out-of-pocket costs, and offering employee incentives to reward compliance.

Studies supported or conducted by the National Pharmaceutical Council in the past have examined the economic consequences related to medication non-compliance, as well as efforts the pharmaceutical industry has taken to address this issue. In particular, the development of modern drug delivery systems is helping to improve compliance by simplifying the dosing regimen and/or decreasing side effects for patients (i.e., once a day dose; localized drug delivery of medicated to its site of therapeutic action in the body).

*Script Your Future Campaign Overview.

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