Why is adherence important?
Studies have shown that approximately 50% of patients do not take their chronic medications as prescribed. Nonadherence can include delaying or not filling a prescription, skipping doses, splitting pills, or stopping a medication early. Nationally, nonadherence costs the healthcare system an estimated $100 to $289 billion annually. Not only does nonadherence increase costs, but it also leads to poorer health outcomes for patients.
What role can pharmacists play?
Pharmacists can play a major role in improving adherence for their patients. Through a variety of services, pharmacists can work with patients to find an approach that works for them. These services will not only improve patient satisfaction, but also lead to improved quality of care delivered in the pharmacy.
“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”
—C. Everett Koop, MD
The terms "medication adherence" and "medication compliance" are often used interchangeably in health care. "Medication adherence" is typically preferred because the term "medication compliance" suggests a passive following of provider directions and implies that the patient was not involved in developing the treatment plan. Learn more.
Tools & Resources
Appointment Based Model
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- Resource 3
Utilizing Support Staff