Forgetfulness is one of the most common problems patients face in medication management. This can be broken down into two types of forgetfulness: either forgetting whether or not the medication has already been taken or forgetting about the medication dose altogether.

Prescription Costs

Prescription drug costs are a significant barrier for many patients forcing them to choose between paying the bills or taking their pills. This leads to not re-filling prescriptions or not even filling the original prescription.

Doubt Medication Effectiveness

Many patients may not fully grasp the critical importance of the medications they are taking. This can be especially true in medications whose effects are unseen or preventative. In the case of antibiotics, many patients will discontinue the medication after their symptoms resolve. This early discontinuation of antibiotics is a significant factor in the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Side Effects/Difficulty Taking Medication

Patients will commonly discontinue a medication without informing their provider due to unpleasant side effects such as nausea, dizziness or fatigue. Additionally, patients may have difficulty taking their medications for a multitude of reasons. (American Heart Association)

Medication Non-Adherence

  • Only 50% of patients with chronic illness take their medications as prescribed
  • 41% of heart attack patients do not take their blood pressure medications
  • One in three kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti-rejection medications
  • Medication non-adherence accounts for approximately 25% of hospitalizations
  • Approximately 50% of treatment failures are caused by medication non-adherence

Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD

There is an out-of-control epidemic in the United States that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about. It’s called nonadherence to prescribed medications

New York Times

Poor adherence to treatment of chronic diseases is a worldwide problem of striking magnitude

World Heath Organization
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