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Pharmacists can bridge medication adherence gap

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT Taking medications is like doing household chores or getting called for jury duty: Everybody would prefer not to have to do it, but it’s still necessary. The consequences for noncompliance could be unpleasant or severe.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark: Medication adherence gets in way of social life, patients say. For the full story, click here)

While many patients may be reluctant to adhere to their medication therapy regimens due to sticker shock, however, CVS Caremark’s recent study revealed several other reasons for noncompliance, which pharmacists are in a good position to address.

As a front line in the healthcare industry, pharmacists can talk to patients and understand some of the psychological and social reasons why they don’t adhere to their therapies. In turn, they can help patients learn that while they may enjoy rebelling against authority figures such as doctors, dislike the drug industry, see the need to take drugs as a nuisance or fear side effects, sticking to their drug therapies is ultimately in their best interest, and their prescribers and pharmacists know their stuff and have their best interests in mind.

Not only would that help patients stay compliant, but it also would help reduce costs for the healthcare industry.

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