“Reminder” Packaging Doesn’t Boost Compliance, Lowering Prices Does

Pharmaceutical companies have turned to high-tech solutions for adherence, but the only thing that seems to really work is lower prices.

Noncompliance / Image: LiveStrong.com
Noncompliance / Image: LiveStrong.com

More than half of medications prescribed are never taken, and they could prevent expensive complications, lengthy hospitalizations, and even save lives. So if Americans spent $425 billion on prescription drugs last year, why don’t they take them? A December 11th New York Times article discussed the well-documented issue of nonadherence and possible solutions.

Roughly 60% of people say they forget to take their medication, so pharma companies have invested in digital pills and smart packaging to improve compliance. However, the only approach that has consistently proven effective is reducing the cost of medications. The article discusses multiple reviews that assess the performance of methods designed to increase adherence, but in the end when drugs cost less, patients are more likely to fill prescriptions.

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