Failure to follow doctor’s advice on prescription medications can have negative health consequences
Louisville, Ky. (October 9, 2014) – Whether it is a course of antibiotics or a daily diabetes medication, many patients don’t follow their doctor’s orders when it comes to prescription medication. Not following medication direction can have serious health consequences, which is why KentuckyOne Health is reminding patients to heed their physicians advice.
Overall, about 20 to 50 percent of patients don’t adhere to their prescriptions properly. This is taxing, not only on the healthcare system, but also on ones individual heath. In 2011, medication-related problems totaled over $7.5 billion in Kentucky alone.
“Many medications work only when taken at regular intervals. When taken irregularly or infrequently, they may not work properly and may cause undesired consequences,” said John Van Arsdall, M.D., KentuckyOne Health Primary Care Associates. “A trained physician knows which medications will best treat your condition and the intervals at which they should be taken for your specific age, weight and other variables.”
When patients fail to take medications properly, the result is often poor health outcomes. In some severe cases, it can lead to death. Poor medication adherence causes more than one third of medication related hospital admissions annually. In the U.S. alone, more than 125,000 deaths can be attributed to patients neglecting to take their medication or taking it improperly.
“One key to successful use of prescription medication is to ensure that your doctor knows all of your family history and current medications,” added Dr. Van Arsdall. “This will help avoid dangerous prescription interactions that could have negative health outcomes.”
Dr. Van Arsdall added, “In addition, by not adhering to antibiotics as prescribed, bacterial resistance may develop and increase the risk of serious illness not only to the patient, but to family members as well. As an infectious disease physician, this is a big concern to me.”
It’s important to have an open dialogue with your physician about your health. Make note of any changes in overall health, diet, exercise, symptoms and reactions, as well as an honest explanation of your medication adherence. Your doctor is an advocate for your health, but it’s important to remember that doctors can’t read minds – doctors only knows about the symptoms you tell them, so always be as thorough as possible when consulting with your physician.
If you have difficulty adhering to your prescription medications, or are experiencing unwanted side effects, a visit to your primary care doctor may be in order. Your physician will be able to check the compatibility of your medicines to make sure that there are no issues, or offer another medication in replacement.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.
Medication Adherence Fact Sheet
- Overall, about 20-50 percent of patients don’t adhere to their prescriptions properly.
- In the United States, 50 percent of the 2 billion prescriptions are not taken correctly and one-third of prescriptions are never even filled.
- In 2011, the estimated amount spent on medication-related problems totaled over $7.5 billion in Kentucky alone.
- Improving a patient’s proper use of prescribed medications is one proven way to manage healthcare costs.
- When patients fail to take their medication properly, the result is often poor health outcomes. In more severe cases, it can lead to death.
- In the United States, there are 125,000 deaths annually due to patients neglecting to take their medication or taking it improperly.
- People with chronic diseases and depression are nearly twice as likely to be non-adherent to prescription medication.
- Poor medication adherence causes more than a third of medicine related hospital admissions annually.
- The World Health Organization estimated that by year 2020, the number of Americans affected by at least one chronic condition requiring medication therapy will grow to 157 million.