Medication Nonadherence: $290 Billion Problem

Krishna R. Patel, PharmD, RPh

Research from the New England Healthcare Institute has the world rethinking what the next great advance in health care will look like. While many of us are only now beginning to hear the noise about medication nonadherence, health care leaders are already hot on the trail to finding effective ways to reduce nonadherence.

Institutions such as Kaiser Permanente and individuals such as William Shrank, MD, director of the Rapid-Cycle Evaluation Group at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are the giants on whose shoulders we must stand on if we want to see further.

Those who ignored nonadherence before are now taking a second look because even the government is in on it with CMS’s Five-Star Quality Rating System for Medicare plans and care coordination. And yes, nonadherence is how we refer to this problem now. Noncompliance, the old term, carries undertones of inferiority, which is exactly what we don’t want if we want patients to take the wheel for their therapy management.

Finding more effective ways to improve medication adherence is the next big thing in health care.

Krishna R. Patel, PharmD, RPh, is an adjunct faculty member at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy,

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