• South End Pharmacy

Medication Adherence & Its Importance

Updated: Jun 1, 2018

Medication adherence is defined as a patient’s conformance with their provider’s recommendation with respect to timing, dosage, and frequency of medication-taking during the prescribed length of time.

In other words, are you taking the medications you are prescribed on time, in the correct dose and for the prescribed amount of time?

Have you ever stopped taking your medications because you don’t want to anymore, or you don’t think that it is working? Perhaps you are a caregiver and the person you are supporting forgets to take their medications sometimes. It seems like more and more, people are not taking their prescriptions as prescribed, and if so you are what is referred to in the pharmacy world, as non-adherent.

Let's look at some statistics:

  • According to a recent study, non-adherence cost patients about $2000, per patient, in physician visits annually.

  • By improving self-management of chronic diseases, you get an approximate cost savings ratio of 1:10.

  • Non-adherence causes between 30% and 50% of treatments to fail; translating to roughly 125,000 deaths annually.

  • Better adherence leads to fewer hospital re-admissions

Luckily, there are several ways to improve medication adherence.

  • Get all of your medications from one pharmacy. By reducing the number of pharmacists involved in your medication regimen, you reduce the chances you could take too many or conflicting medications.

  • Keep your physicians, nurses and pharmacists informed on all of the medications you are currently taking.

  • Request to get all of your prescription instructions verbally and in writing if you have trouble remembering each one.

  • Be sure to ask questions if you have any concerns about your medication. Your pharmacist is here to help. They can also review your medications with you, and your doctor(s), to see if there are medicines you can alter/remove/combine to try and make your regimen more manageable.

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