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Summary: Improving Prescription Medication Adherence

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Medication adherence is described as the extent to which the patients take medication as prescribed by the health care provider. To ensure the patients receive proper care, health care systems must implement procedures to successfully meet their needs and overall improve their quality of life. However, there are several reasons that affect proper medical care, which ultimately results in an increase in health care expenses and poorer health outcomes for patients. Studies have shown that approximately 50% of patients do not take their chronic medications as prescribed and that nonadherence can cost the health care system nearly $100 to $289 billion per year (1). Medication adherence is difficult to achieve due to ineffective communication between…show more content…
Various methods to reduce the barriers to adherence include providing medication that decreases the number of pills needed per day, reducing side effects, and combining multiple medicines into a single dose. Due to the availability of extended-release versions of various medicines, the method of simple dosing, or taking 1 pill daily is made attainable. The article, Improving Prescription Medicine Adherence is Key to Better Health Care states, “...32 million Americans use three or more medicines daily, while the average 75-year old has 3 chronic conditions and takes 5 medicine” (3). The article also explains how the benefits of utilizing medication involving 2 or more active drugs into a single dose compared to the use of 2 or more separate medications has reduced patient nonadherence by 26% (3). By using simple dosing, pharmacists can also work with patients to adjust their regimen to allow them to take their medication according to their daily activities such as taking medication along with their meals, or right before bed. When these methods are implemented, this encourages patients to use medication appropriately, which can lead to an improved quality of
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