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Medication Adherence Statistics

February 13, 2012 – Over 125,000 Americans die annually (342 people every day), just because they failed to take their medications as prescribed.

Scripta has proved that we can save money for both self-funded organizations and their employees, but it’s not just about the money. Our mission is to save lives by making sure that people can afford their medications. After all, almost 42% of Americans complain about the price of prescription drugs, and statistics show that many of those will split pills, skip doses, or otherwise disobey doctor’s orders.

Nicole Lofholm Clause, writing for Living Well, notes that, “According to PhRMA (2011), 32 million Americans use three or more medications daily. Out of those Americans, 75% of adults are non-adherent in one or more ways.” Unsurprisingly, the average adherance rate for medications taken only once daily is nearly 80%, compared to about 50% for treatments that must be taken 4 times a day.

The situation among seniors is equally bleak, though medicare tends to foot the bill, “In a poll of people 65 and older who use medications, researchers found that 51% take at least five different prescription drugs regularly, and one in four take between 10 and 19 medications each day. 57% of those polled admit that they forget to take their medications.”

Importantly, 10-25% of hospital and nursing home admissions are caused by the inability of patients to take their medications as directed. That brings us right back to the economic impact. The estimated annual cost of all those patients not taking their medications as prescribed was $290 billion in emergency-room visits and other avoidable medical expenses.


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