Medication nonadherence is most simply defined as the number of doses not taken or taken incorrectly that jeopardizes the patient's therapeutic outcome.
National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) has noted that nonadherence can take a variety of forms, including
- not having a prescription filled,
- taking an incorrect dose,
- taking a medication at the wrong time,
- forgetting to take doses, or stopping therapy too soon.
The result of not taking the medications as prescribed has major health & economic impact. The cost of non-adherence is estimated to cost $100 billion annually.
The result of not taking medication for chronic diseases leads to decreased productivity and increase disease morbidity, physician office visits, admissions to nursing homes, and death. Many studies have documented poorer health outcomes due to nonadherence, especially in patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and epilepsy.
One of the solutions - use of your local clinical pharmacists! They are drug experts; they are trained for this purpose, to educate, to guide and to assist your primary physician. They are trained to address the costly drug related problems such as drug-drug, drug-OTC and drug-herb interactions, therapeutic duplication, they can help your doctors with patient assistance programs available via drug companies, they can suggest generic switches and assist with your insurance 1st tier drug lists which are cost effective options.