Medication nonadherence costs drug makers $188 billion per year in U.S., report finds

Ten percent increase in adherence could significantly raise revenues

NORWALK, Conn. — When it comes to medication non-adherence, the most oft-cited statistic illustrating its effect on the healthcare system is the New England Healthcare Institute's estimate that it costs the healthcare system $290 billion per year. But a new report shows how much drug makers lose as well.

Capgemini Consulting announced Monday the release of a study conducted with HealthPrize Technologies showing that the drug market loses $188 billion in U.S. sales and $564 billion in global sales each year due to patients not taking their medications as prescribed.

The report, "Estimated Annual Pharmaceutical Revenue Loss Due to Medication Non-Adherence," examined 100 therapeutic areas ranging from chronic conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension to critical conditions like HIV, cancer and transplants, finding that the annual losses represent 59% of all pharmaceutical revenues, which healthcare market research firm IMS Health estimates were $320 billion in the United States and $956 billion globally in 2011; drug revenues would be $508 billion in the United States and $1.52 trillion globally were it not for the losses, the report found, and even a 10% increase in adherence would significantly raise revenues.

"The revenue that pharma leaves on the table due to lack of adherence to prescription medications is much higher than usually thought," Capgemini Consulting principal Thomas Forissier said. "In addition, many people don't realize that a 10% boost in adherence could increase revenue by much more than 10%. That 10% loss is based on the higher revenue amount that could have materialized, not on actual revenue earned."


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