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CAREGIVING

Looking specifically at lack of medication adherence in the U.S., a recent survey reported that nearly three out of every four American consumers report not always taking their prescription medicine as directed.  Commissioned by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), this survey also found a major disconnect between consumers’ beliefs and their behaviors when it comes to taking medicines correctly, that might be helped by prescription med management systems. Some of the findings of the survey include:

  • Almost half of those polled (49 percent) said they had forgotten to take a prescribed medicine;
  • Nearly one-third (3131 percent) had not filled a prescription they were given;
  • Nearly three out of 10 (29 percent) had stopped taking a medicine before the supply ran out; and
  • Almost one-quarter (2424 percent) had taken less than the recommended dosage.
  • While disturbing, these statistics only begin to demonstrate the magnitude and scope of poor adherence in the U.S. Lack of adherence affects Americans of all ages and both genders, but is of particular concern among those aged 65 and over who, because they have more long-term, chronic illnesses, now buy 30 percent of all prescription medicines and often combine multiple medications over the course of a day. Regardless of age and sex, poor medication adherence is also just as likely to involve higher-income, well-educated people as those at lower socioeconomic levels. As a result, poor medication adherence has been estimated to cost approximately $177 billion annually in total direct and indirect health care costs.

Adherence rates are typically higher in patients with acute conditions, as compared to those with chronic conditions, with adherence dropping most dramatically after the first six months of therapy. The problem is especially grave for such patients with chronic conditions requiring long-term or lifelong therapy, because poor medication adherence leads to unnecessary disease progression, disease complications, reduced functional abilities, a lower quality of life, and premature death. Lack of med management also increases the risk of developing a resistance to needed therapies (e.g., with antibiotic therapy), more intense relapses, and withdrawal (e.g., with thyroid hormone replacement therapy)
and rebound effects (e.g., with hypertension and depression therapy) when medication is interrupted. Because of this impact, adherence has been called “the key mediator between medical practice and patient outcomes.”

Although the challenge of poor medication adherence has been discussed and debated for at least three decades, these problems have generally been overlooked as a major health care priority. Compounding the situation, adherence problems have been exacerbated by the fragmented approach by which hospitals, health care providers, and other parts of the health delivery system intervene with patients and caregivers to encourage adherence.  Prescription Management systems like the Pilbox, common pillboxes, weekly reminder systems, prescription alarm systems like these found here at ELDERLUXE.com.

 
 
 
 
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