The Problem of Medication Nonadherence

"Noncompliance with medication therapy is one of the most significant problems facing medical practice. The inability of patients to pay for their medications is a major cause of noncompliance, leading to premature loss of life, loss of work, an increase in adverse effects leading to hospitalizations and other consequences, and a decrease in quality of life."

Chisolm, M.A., DiPiro, J.T., Archives of Internal Medicine, 162(Apr 8), pp. 780-784.

"Physicians could easily misinterpret reasons for therapeutic failure if they do not recognize that a patient may be skipping doses or cutting back on medication for monetary reasons. Physicians may never find the right clinical conclusion if they do not ask about cost."

Voelker, R., Journal of the American Medical Association, 292(18), pp. 2201-2202.


Physician time and talent are ill-used when patients do not follow through with recommended therapy. Patients who can't afford their medicines may require not only repeat doctor visits for conditions that remain untreated, but preventable, and perhaps entirely unreimbursed, ER visits and hospitalizations.

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