“Let’s work together. Let’s end the absurdity …”
Apr. 17, 2017
Non-adherence to prescription drugs poses a greater and more costly threat to our health than any of the most common diseases currently plaguing millions of Americans.
The phenomenon currently takes around 125,000 lives and costs the medical community somewhere between $100-289 billion a year. The problem is rather pervasive, with over 50 percent of patients neglecting their prescription schedules and has the potential to get worse. Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 12 use some type of prescription drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Patients have a variety of reasons for not strictly following their doctor’s orders, with the high-cost of many prescription medications being the chief complaint.
Research estimates that up to 15 percent of non-adherence is due to the cost. A patients sees a high-stick price and decides they can forgo the medication. Consumers have a legitimate reason with the cost argument, as co-pays for some drugs can run as high as $100 a prescription, Kaiser Family Foundation reports.
The marketplace is difficult to navigate and adds to why consumers shy away from taking their medications.
Obamacare created a system of stratified health plans which, in turn, created drug tiers. These tiers pushed higher price drugs into groups with lower levels of coverage, and forced the majority of consumers into the least expensive drugs in each tier. In the majority of cases, the system also forces consumers to first prove that the generic medications are not effective before moving to more expensive, non-generic forms.