The Importance of Medication Adherence

By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health

You’ve probably read in the news that Congress is furthering its investigations into the rising costs of prescription medications. We think this is great news because we share their concern about the affordability of medicines. Higher prices may mean fewer people will be able to afford their prescriptions and take them as directed by their doctors.

What is medication adherence and why does it matter?

Medication AdherancePrescription adherence is important to your health. Medication adherence is generally defined as the extent to which patients follow a prescription regimen determined by their doctors. It involves filling prescriptions, understanding directions and taking medicine as scheduled.  It matters because failure to comply limits control and effective management of chronic illnesses.

This may result in an increased burden on our health care system because these individuals with poor health will keep returning to the doctor’s office for unresolved problems. Per year, poor medication adherence has resulted in 33% to 69% of medication-related hospital admissions in the United States, and at least 125,000 deaths annually.

Why is this happening? 

Why do more than 1 in 5 patients let their prescriptions go unfilled?  And, why do 50 percent of patients not take their medications as directed? 

Not being able to afford medications is cited as the number one reason that patients do not adhere to prescription schedules.

Poor medication adherence may negatively affect your cycle of health.  Don’t let it.

If you are unable to pay for your prescription, check if a generic version is available or if your doctor can suggest ways to offset the drug cost.  The free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card can also be a great help. The card provides savings on most FDA-approved brand and generic medications. Sometimes, our discounted pricing is cheaper than insurance co-pays. And, if you have a high deductible that must be met before prescription coverage begins, our card can help right away.

Use our Greatest Prescription Savings™ (GPS) tool (wtree.us/savingstool) to find out the cost with our card on your prescription medication, at pharmacies close to you. Simply provide the drug name and your zip code, then get a card to start saving.

Remember, when medication adherence falls that affects the health of our entire community. Let’s work together towards everyone’s improved wellness.

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