One of the biggest barriers to better patient outcomes? People not taking their medication as prescribed. In the U.S., medical non-adherence results in return hospital stays, emergency treatment and other interventions, adding up to about half a trillion dollars in annual medical costs, reports forbes.com.
The challenge of medical non-adherence is not a new issue. One of the key factors for people in the U.S. not taking their medications as prescribed lies in their out-of-pocket costs. Some eye-opening report statistics shared by forbes.com:
- The prescription abandonment rate is 45% when the out-of-pocket cost is more than $125.
- The prescription abandonment rate jumps to 605 when that cost is more than $500.
- Compare these prescription abandonment rates to the abandonment rate when the prescription comes with no out-of pocket costs: less than 5%.
Medical non-adherence becomes even greater when it comes to patients with low incomes and chronic illnesses. One study revealed that 16.5% of adults with diabetes rationed their insulin the past year by skipping doses, taking smaller doses or holding off on filling their prescription due to the high cost involved.
To learn more about a new act in the U.S. that will, in part, address medical non-adherence as a result of cost, and what other steps can be taken to improve adherence by supporting access to medications, read Jason Ross’s forbes.com article here.