By Ken Congdon, Chief Editor, Pharmaceutical Online
Non-adherence to prescription medication regimens has a significant, and well-documented, impact on healthcare. For example, research shows that nearly 50 percent of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed and 1 in 5 new prescriptions go unfilled. As adherence declines, emergency room visits and hospital admissions increase among patients with chronic illnesses — which adds an estimated $100 to $300 billion in avoidable costs to the healthcare system each year. In the end, approximately 125,000 American deaths annually are attributed to poor medication adherence.