With High Blood Pressure, the story is the same. In an article written in the New York Times by Jane E. Brody, “The Cost of Not Taking Your Medicine,” The numbers are staggering. “Studies have consistently shown that 20 percent to 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled and that approximately 50 percent of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed,” according to a review in Annals of Internal Medicine. People who do take prescription medications — whether it’s for a simple infection or a life-threatening condition — typically take only about half the prescribed doses.
This lack of adherence, the Annals authors wrote, is estimated to cause approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations, and to cost the American health care system between $100 billion and $289 billion a year.
“When people don’t take the medications prescribed for them, emergency department visits and hospitalizations increase and more people die,” said Bruce Bender, co-director of the Center for Health Promotion at National Jewish Health in Denver.
The Georgia SVdP Community Pharmacy focuses on medications to treat conditions such as cardiovascular, filling prescriptions at no cost to clients so that they may focus their limited resources on other areas of need.