Two-hundred-ninety billion dollars. That’s the number often thrown around when health experts talk about what medication nonadherence costs patients, insurers, health plan payers and the U.S. economy every year. And of course, dollar estimates say nothing about the impact that nonadherence has on patients and their families in higher chronic and acute disease rates, reduced quality of life and shortened lifespans.
So the failure by patients to take their meds as prescribed is a big deal. And it’s gotten a lot of attention from payers in the last couple of years because it’s one of the most obvious levers to pull as public and private health plan sponsors struggle to get a grip on the astronomical and still-expanding cost of health care in the United States.