Why your government and some of the biggest pharmaceutical and healthcare companies are pushing for you to be medication adherentJeremy Whiteley
Your being medication adherent is an objective that, when accomplished creates four substantial positives. Your taking your meds as prescribed by your doctor:
- Will decrease the likelihood that you will experience unnecessary hospitalization.
- Will benefit the management of your chronic health issues.
- Will decrease the loss of profits of the pharmaceutical companies, which is estimated to be $564 billion globally per year.
- Will decrease the amount of money that your government and healthcare companies have to pay out for your healthcare.
Because this is so important and involves so much money several companies have banded together to promote this important objective, as reported in a Forbes article published in May, 2013.
It’s true, some of this costs more. Me, I want the benefits of technological advancement. I’ll give you an example. I like the idea that some moron on the highway can be completely stupid, by no fault of mine, and that the combination of seatbelts, airbags and well engineered crumple zones in my car can absorb the impact and save my life. True, I don’t want to be hit in any way, but it’s a chance that I take when I go out and drive on public roads. The same is true for all kinds of maladies that can strike any of us through no fault of our own. The medications that doctors prescribe for us are the equivalent of seatbelts and airbags. We can’t have these features unless we pay for them, but, ultimately, they will save lives. Maybe yours.
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) calculates all governmental spending at one point or another. The medical industry has been claiming that 13% of all hospitalizations and emergency treatments are unnecessary and due to the lack of medication adherence. That equates to $290 billion as suggested in a 2009 industry report. However, on the basis that healthcare costs are increasing every year, if the 13% figure is accurate then the figure will also have grown to well over $300 billion, and will continue to rise. That’s in the neighborhood of $1,000 per person, regardless of age, every year in the United States. The CBO has realized that a seemingly tiny blip of 1/20th of one percent increase in medication adherence can actually add up to a savings of billions of dollars over the course of years. This is particularly true when it comes to Medicare patients.
These factors aren’t just on the CBOs radar, they’re on the charts of every healthcare company’s projections in each of their board rooms. We’re talking about big bucks. Yes, these companies will benefit, but so will you. Buckle up and take your meds as prescribed. You’ll be healthier for it.