Enhancing Drug Effectiveness
The better the information patients can access, the more effectively they can follow through on their responsibilities in the patient involvement model of healthcare.
Here are some of the impacts that drug research by the pharmaceutical industry has quantified:
- $100 billion annually is the low estimate of the total costs non-adherence adds unnecessarily to the healthcare system.
- Recent research shows patients who did not consistently take their diabetes medicine were 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than were patients who took their medicine as directed more than 80% of the time.
- Non-adherent patients were more likely to develop coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular (brain and blood vessels associated with strokes), and chronic heart failure by 7%, 13% and 42% respectively, than patients who took their antihypertension (blood pressure) medicine as directed.
A recently completed study by the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy calculates that poor medication adherence costs an extra $49 to $840 per month, per Medicare beneficiary. With more than 49 million beneficiaries of Medicare on the rolls, that translates into a range of costs of from $29 billion to almost $500 billion per year.
Improving patient adherence requires patient involvement; involvement requires the best information delivered in the most convenient manner.