Americans have a hard time taking their meds.
Prescription drugs get more sophisticated, expensive and even confusing. People commonly forget how many pills to take or don’t understand how to schedule them. Some leave pricey drugs to languish at the pharmacy. And it’s costing the healthcare system billions of dollars.
About 50% of patients with a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, eventually stop taking medications intended to stave off major health problems, such as heart attacks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 25% of newly written prescriptions are never even filled.
There are many ways to manage the problem. Read about tips in this Health Care Watch column.