Pharmacists are key to Medication Adherence

The Pharmacy Times has an article in their latest issue titled “Pharmacists Key to Improving Mediocre Medication Adherence Levels.”  Well, yeah… and, lets face it, the Pharmacy Times is primarily read by Pharmacists, so who else would they say tell?

The results are pretty interesting, however, and also very timely. The Study was conducted between February and March 2013. The report states that patients that have a relationship with their Pharmacists are more likely to be adherent to their medication protocols.  Let’s think about this. Who else are you discussing your prescriptions with other than your doctor? Probably nobody. We might be discussing medications with our friends, but, typically, we can’t remember their names or pronounce them if we do. I’m talking about the name of the meds here, not the friends. They’re hard to remember too sometimes.

We have made the case about how much it costs us as individuals and what it costs our entire country when we fail to take our meds on time and as prescribed. Lots of Billions of dollars. And we are much more likely to find ourselves in an emergency medical situation if we fail to be adherent. One of the easiest ways to save money is just to take your prescriptions as your doctor directs. Not everyone is able to do this on their own.
The best way to overcome non-adherence is to recognize what your particular issue is.  I read this particular paragraph in the article and, even though I am fully adherent, I still battle with the same issues as most people.

I’m copying and pasting this paragraph directly from the Pharmacy Times article, because there’s just no way to say it better:  “The most common forms of non-adherence reported by participants were missing a dose (57%), forgetting whether they had taken their medication (30%), failing to refill a prescription on time (28%), taking a lower dose than instructed (22%), and failing to refill a new prescription (20%). The most common reasons cited for non-adherence were forgetting to take medication (42%), running out of medication (34%), being away from home (27%), attempting to save money (22%), unpleasant side effects (21%), being too busy (17%), feeling that medication was not working (17%), believing that medication was not needed (16%), and disliking taking medication (12%).”

It pretty clear that these percentages total over 300% when you add them together, therefore each person likely had multiple responses to the survey. Probably we all would, even if we’re adherent there are lots of reasons we are faced with when it comes time to take our meds. Re-read the previous paragraph and you’re very likely to find your biggest challenges in the first 3 items. For me, I often don’t recall if I took my meds… and the other biggest challenge is getting the prescription refilled on time. I need to be reminded of that too.
I encourage you to read the article in the Pharmacy Times.

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