White paper looks at medication nonadherence

August 1, 2011

A new white paper examines the costs of medication nonadherence and suggests solutions.

A new white paper examines the costs of medication nonadherence and suggests solutions.

The paper, “Medication Non-Adherence: An Ancient Problem in Need of Modern Solutions,” was recently released by HealthPrize Technologies, an internet- and mobile-based adherence platform.

“Greater awareness of the problem is long overdue, and innovative solutions need to be developed to benefit patients and industry alike,” said Katrina Firlik, MD, chief medication officer and co-founder of HealthPrize.

In addition to the damage to patients’ health, nonadherence significantly erodes pharmaceutical revenues, the paper stated. The estimated impact on potential pharmacy revenues ranges from $30 billion a year to $177 billion per year. “It’s been estimated that approximately 50 percent of prescriptions are ineffective” because of nonadherence, the paper stated.

Solutions to medication nonadherence discussed in the paper include regimen-based interventions, reminder-based interventions, educational interventions, and financial interventions.

Reminder packaging, such as blister packs or birth control “wheels,” can push adherence to an extra prescription per year. “Such packaging is common in Europe, but is gaining ground in the United States,” the paper stated.

Financial incentives include co-pay reductions and rebates sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. The main drawback to discounts is that they can sometimes have a devaluing effect on the medication in the eyes of the consumer. In addition, the patient may refuse to refill the medication once the reduction or rebate expires.