An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimated that non-adherence resulted in approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations, costing US health care system $100 and $289 billion a year.
The article reports that “studies have consistently shown that 20 percent to 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled, and that approximately 50 percent of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed. The review found that for people who do take prescription medications, they only take about half the prescribed doses.
Researchers from Northwestern University found that one-third of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti-rejection medications. Other studies show that 41 percent of heart attack patients don’t take their blood pressure medications and only 50 percent of children with asthma use their inhalers as prescribed.
In an article in the New York Times, Dr. Bruce Bender, co-director of the Centre for Health Promotion at National Jewish Health in Denver, explained: “When people don’t take the medications prescribed for them, emergency department visits and hospitalizations increase and more people die. Non-adherence is a huge problem, and there’s no one solution because there are many different reasons why it happens.”