As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous research, videos or commentaries in a relevant way. As the saying goes, “what’s old is new again” – and we hope you enjoy our wonky twist on #TBT.
It’s human nature to be forgetful, and it’s easy to let things slip when our lives get busier. Oftentimes forgetfulness doesn’t majorly impact our lives, but when it comes to health care, forgetting to pick up a prescription, take it as prescribed, or finish the medication regimen can be detrimental. Today, July 2, is “I Forgot Day,” providing us with an opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of complying with medication treatment plans.
Doctors prescribe medications with the expectation that patients will take them correctly. However, most patients do not follow doctors' orders, which can be bad for their health.
According to the Script Your Future campaign, “more than one in three medicine-related hospitalizations happen because that person did not take their medicine as directed,” resulting in almost 125,000 deaths annually. In fact, between $100 billion and $300 billion of avoidable health care costs have been attributed to medication nonadherence in the U.S. annually.
There are many reasons why individuals don’t take their medicine as directed. Studies have shown that patients do not always comprehend the doctor’s medication instructions, and often forget significant portions of what they’re told. One way to prevent this is to simplify regimens so there is less to remember (or forget).
In 2005, NPC partnered with Temple University to publish a study, “Drug Delivery Systems Improve Pharmaceutical Profile and Facilitate Medication Adherence,” (and our #TBT pick of week) that delves into the issues surrounding drug delivery, and how modern medicine has continually improved how medicines are delivered to patients.
The authors discuss how innovations in dosage forms and dose delivery systems across a wide range of medications offer substantial clinical advantages, including reduced dosing frequency and improved patient adherence, among other benefits.
They also note that new biopharmaceuticals, which may have advanced formulations requiring less doses, often have a more favorable pharmacologic profile and can be cost-effective.
While reducing the dosage frequency isn’t always an option, there are various forms of reminders available to decrease the chance to forget. Mobile apps exist that can send alerts, track dosages and even share medication history and refill times with pharmacists and doctors. Less tech savvy reminders also are an option, such as direct mail, telephone calls and emails.