Millions of Americans are failingto take their prescribed medicationscorrectly, and many aresimply neglecting to take theirprescriptions at all, concludes anew report from the NationalCouncil on Patient Informationand Education (NCPIE).
As a result, thegroup warns, manypatients put theirhealth at risk unnecessarilyby allowing seriousmedical problemsto go untreated. Peoplewith diseases thatare initially symptom-free are atparticularly high risk of skippingor neglecting medication, accordingto the NCPIE.
?Although high blood pressuremore than triples the risk of heartdisease, for example, just 51% ofpatients stick with their prescribedantidote,? said the researchers.
The NCPIE report, however,concludes that a broad range ofAmericans, from seniorcitizens to teenagers,rank poorly intheir adherence toneeded medications.The current high levelsof medicationnonadherence areplacing huge financialpressures on Americanhealth care, accordingto the report.
Poor adherence to prescribedmedication can cost an extra$2000 a year for each patient inextra physician visits alone, andnationwide the problem may becosting the country $177 billionin medical bills and lost productivity.