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Getting a prescription from a physician is simple enough, but not everybody sticks with the regimen that comes afterwards.  The reasons for this are varied, but the costs are steep:  it’s estimated that we lose $300 billion per year in wasted health care spending, and that includes payments for unused medication, avoidable medical procedures, and hospital readmissions for patients who wouldn’t have relapsed if they’d only followed their doctors’ orders.

 

Here are a few things that need to change in order to improve medication compliance:

 

Overconfidence

 

Whether we’ve just gotten over a sudden attack or have a high risk of catching something dangerous, we often don’t think about medication in terms of boosting our survival chances while we’re feeling fine.  Asymptomatic patients often believe that because they don’t feel bad they don’t need any help, and as such they’re more likely to ignore their prescribed drug regimens since they don’t think they need to keep it up, or else they think the medication is only supposed to be used while symptoms are present.

 

The classic example of this is a patient who’s recovering from a bacterial disease like salmonella or typhoid.  Symptoms of the disease will often vanish halfway into the antibacterial prescription’s length and so the patient will stop taking it, but soon after that the disease will reemerge.  As it turns out, the bacteria didn’t vanish just because the symptoms did, and the rest of the pills were meant to eradicate every last trace.

 

Complicated Schedules

 

If you’re dealing with a number of illnesses or just one that’s very complicated, it can be hard to keep track of all the pills you have to take at various times of the day and either before and after meals.  With so much to keep track of, one or two medications may wind up falling through the cracks, especially if you’re tackling a lifestyle change in the meantime.

 

Drug companies are attempting to counteract this problem with combination drugs, singular pills which contain several different drugs that are generally prescribed together for a specific condition.  For instance, HIV/AIDS once needed a cocktail of drugs so that victims could keep themselves alive, but these days all an HIV victim needs is a single pill which contains three separate medications.  Not only are these new medications more effective, they’re also easier to keep track of thanks to how they’re combined.

 

Cost

 

The price of prescription pharmaceuticals has been spiking recently, and although the old “it’s for the research” excuse is growing increasingly thin, not much is happening yet to systematically bring the cost of drugs in America back down to earth.

 

Until that happens, cost is becoming a major reason why patients might not even fill their prescriptions in the first place.  Not every health care supplier will pay for the most expensive drugs out there even when a doctor prescribes them or even when they’re the best option on the market, and not everyone can afford their own medication without some sort of financial help.

 

Fortunately, the USA Rx pharmacy discount card applies even when insurance programs don’t.  Our discount program can get you up to 75 percent off of prescription medications both expensive and cheap, and many who use our program find that we offer a cheaper solution than their insurance’s copay.  For more information, try our phone number at 888-277-3911 or our email at [email protected].

Published December 15th, 2015 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by Chris Riley

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