Poor Medicine Adherence in Americans with Multiple Chronic Conditions – Anticipating & Addressing a Looming Threat

PR Newswire: 10/15/13


WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With mounting evidence that poor medicine adherence will increase dramatically with the projected rise in age-related chronic illnesses, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) –  a non-profit coalition of diverse organizations working to improve communication on the safe and appropriate use of medicines – today released a ten-step Adherence Action Agenda that places the spotlight on the pervasive and costly problem of poor medicine adherence, particularly among those age 65 and older with multiple chronic conditions, who are at the greatest risk of medication errors, drug interactions and costly disease complications.

Issued as a nationwide call to action, the report – Accelerating Progress in Prescription Medicine Adherence: The Adherence Action Agenda – finds that poor medicine adherence among patients with chronic and comorbid conditions is resulting in unnecessary disease progression and disease complications and the increased use of expensive components of health care, such as emergency room visits, hospitalizations, avoidable hospital re-admissions and post-acute care. According to estimates cited in the report, caring for approximately 27% of Americans with multiple chronic conditions accounts for 66% of the nation’s health expenditures and is a major source of Medicare spending.  Of the $300 billion Medicare spent in 2010 on healthcare, beneficiaries with six or more chronic conditions – roughly 14% of the Medicare population – cost $32,658 or three times the national average. As a result, the price tag for treating patients with six or more concurrent diseases was over $140 billion, or almost half of Medicare’s total spending.   Read more