IMS Study: Inappropriate Medication Use Costs More Than $200 Billion Per Year

Published Online: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Follow Pharmacy_Times:
Irresponsible use of medications by patients and health care providers costs the US health care system more than $200 billion per year, according to the results of a study released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics on June 19, 2013. Along with the financial toll, the study found that irresponsible medication use leads to an additional 10 million hospital admissions, 78 million outpatient treatments, 246 million prescriptions, and 4 million emergency department visits per year.

Of 6 medication use practices analyzed in the study, medication nonadherence was found to be the biggest factor, responsible for an estimated $105 billion in annual avoidable costs. Delayed implementation of evidence-based treatment options and misuse of antibiotics were estimated to be responsible for $40 billion and $34 billion in annual avoidable costs, respectively. The other practices analyzed were medication errors, suboptimal use of generics, and mismanaged polypharmacy in older adults.

The study did find some signs of improvement in recent years: medication adherence among hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes patients has improved 3% to 4% since 2009, the portion of cold and flu patients inappropriately receiving antibiotic prescriptions has fallen from 20% to 6% since 2007, and patients receive lower-cost generic alternatives to branded medications 95% of the time when they are available.


Related Articles
mscripts and Avella Specialty Pharmacy have recently completed analyzing data demonstrating the effectiveness of mobile pharmacy apps in helping HIV patients better manage their disease through improved medication adherence. Results from this analysis show that HIV patients using a mobile app which provides refill reminders, dosage reminders and other prescription management functionality are 2.9 times more likely to be adherent.
A community pharmacy can collaborate with a local hospital to provide quality medication education and adherence coaching.
Medication adherence monitoring is as simple as swallowing a pill.
Pharmacists find monitoring medication adherence difficult due to time constraints and other barriers.
Latest Issues
  • photo
    Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Health-System Edition
    photo
    Directions in Pharmacy
    photo
    OTC Guide
    photo
    Generic Supplements
  • photo
    Pharmacy Careers
    photo
    Specialty Pharmacy Times
    photo
    Generic
$auto_registration$