Patient Prescription Non-Adherence

Up to 50% of U.S. patients are guilty of not taking their prescribed medicines. Patients either do so with the intention of noncompliance or unintentionally for various reasons. Purposefully ignoring prescriptions is likely a product of either cost or one’s own beliefs and mental attitude. When stubborn patients don’t agree with doctors in regards to their medicine, the likelihood of actually taking said medicine dramatically decreases. Prescription prices has not attributed as a serious as an issue recently due to the rise in generic brand medicines at lower costs, however, patient attitudes will not fluctuate as easily.

On the other hand, numerous patients simply do not mean to ‘skip a day’. Forgetfulness may play a large role in patient noncompliance, whether it be forgetting to run to the pharmacy or forgetting to take the medicine at specific times day to day. Unfortunately, the doctor’s job is not to hold the patients’ hand and remind them about their medication, so there is little they can do to enforce prescription adherence.

Doctors simply cannot treat diabetes or heart disease in the office. It requires work from both parties, and patients who don’t take their medication cannot be treated. In turn, patients who can’t be treated may be subject to:

  • Dangerous health issues
  • More hospital time (and costs)
  • Hospital re-admittance (and re-admittance fees)
  • Lower mortality rates

Before going to bed at night and skipping out on medicine or further postponing trips to the pharmacy may seem harmless to patients now, but they may not feel the same way when they suffer dramatic consequences to their health and wallets later on.