At the front lines of healthcare concerns: Medication adherence

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT Though Drug Store News is a leader among trade publications for the retail pharmacy industry, its readership remains small compared with the consumer magazines one typically finds on a store shelf, thus keeping its wealth of news and analysis confined to a limited audience. But the publication of an article in The New York Times brings to nationwide attention an issue of critical importance that frequently receives play in this magazine’s pages: medication adherence.

(THE NEWS: NY Times cites Rx adherence incentives. For the full story, click here)

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April, avoidable hospitalizations related to medication adherence cost more than $100 billion each year, and according to the New England Healthcare Institute, $290 billion in total annual costs -- 13% of all healthcare expenditures -- are related to poor medication adherence.

The article’s appearance in the Times means that millions of people in the United States, not to mention the Times’ considerable international readership, will see improved medication adherence presented as a crucial component of healthcare reform, considering the huge costs of nonadherence. Whatever means physicians, payers or retailers may use to persuade patients to take their drugs as prescribed, their efforts now have the added credibility of one of the most well-known and trusted sources of news in the world.

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