Do most people take their medications?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
In the real world, people often refuse to take medications for reasons that baffle us. Overall, 40% to 70% of people don't follow their prescribed medication regimen, and more than 20% of new prescriptions go unfilled, even when they're free!

These are often life-or-death meds. Twenty-six percent of first prescriptions for insulin and at least 20% for oral diabetes medications are left behind the pharmacy counter, resulting in uncontrolled blood sugar levels that lead to heart, kidney, nerve, vascular, and eye damage. Thirty percent of blood pressure prescriptions also go unfilled, and more than half of people who do fill hypertension prescriptions stop taking the meds as directed within a year.

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