Some disturbing news on the prescription-drug front:
A first-of-its-kind patient survey, Medication Adherence in America: A National Report Card by the National Community Pharmacists Association, finds that “Americans 40 and older with a chronic medical condition earn a troubling C+ on average and that one in seven members of this group received an F when it comes to taking their medications correctly.”
NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey puts it well when he states in a press release on the report card: “The academic year has drawn to a close for most students, but when it comes to taking their prescription drugs, it’s many of the parents who may require summer school.”
The NCPA press release doesn’t go into the cost impact on employers’ healthcare, but I would suspect it’s significant.
Grades were calculated based on an average of answers to questions on nine non-adherent behaviors: whether or not, in the past 12 months, patients failed to fill a prescription; neglected to have a prescription refilled; missed a dose; took a lower dose than prescribed; took a higher dose than prescribed; stopped a prescription early; took an old medication for a new problem without consulting a doctor; took someone else’s medicine; or forgot whether they’d taken a medication.