Pharmacist counseling patient

A female pharmacist sits with a senior female patient in the pharmacist consultation area and discusses her prescription and choice of medication. In the background a father and daughter stand at the dispensing counter and are served by a female pharmacy assistant .

Medication Non-Adherence: A Concern for Your Patient and Your Pharmacy

What is one of the top concerns for patients taking new medications? Short answer: Taking the new medication properly.

According to a survey by DrFirst, more than half of participants surveyed “lack confidence in their ability to properly take new medications as directed.” Why is that?

Among the participants that had concerns on taking new medication properly, nearly two-thirds stated that their anxiety stemmed from lack of time spent with physicians at point of care.

“At a time when most physicians are working at full capacity and have less time for face-to-face patient encounters, it’s critical that we seek alternative methods for educating patients about how to safely take new medications and about each drug’s potential side effects,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst.

While some patients are worried about how to take their medications, others are worried about the cost of their prescriptions. According to the survey, three-quarters of participants admitted to trying to obtain coupons or drug discounts by going online or by asking their doctor or pharmacist.

What this means for the patient and healthcare system

With the anxiety of taking medication correctly and the high cost of prescriptions deterring patients from getting their prescriptions filled, medication non-adherence is inevitable.  When a patient is non-adherent, both the patient and healthcare system lose. When not taken properly, medications lose its effect, therefore, having the patient receive additional services and costing the healthcare industry between $100 billion and $300 billion annually.

How would patients like to receive their information?

According to the survey, participants reported that educational information about medications on written formats was least preferred. Overall, patients would like to receive information through short videos sent to them from their pharmacist.

“Rather than rely on written hand-outs from doctors and pharmacists, we must take advantage of technologies like smartphones and patient portals to deliver impactful, customized details about prescribed medications,” Deemer said.

PDX and DrFirst

PDX and DrFirst are coming together to tackle the widespread and preventable issue of medication non-adherence. Learn more about the partnership here.

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