Wondering if you took your pills? Simplified prescription packaging can help
(BPT) - “Drugs do not work in patients who do not take them,” said former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. This simple statement points to one of largest and most serious health problems in the United States. Data suggests that roughly half of the 3 billion prescriptions filled each year in America are not taken correctly resulting in increased hospitalizations and admissions to nursing homes, and billions of dollars in avoidable health care costs.
According to experts, the causes of poor medication adherence vary. Some blame it on high out-of-pocket costs for medications; others blame it on concerns over potential side effects. However, all experts agree that confusion and general forgetfulness are primary contributors to medications being taken incorrectly.
Ian Salditch, CEO of Medicine-On-Time thinks the solution to adherence comes down to something quite simple - better packaging. “In my view, dispensing multiple different medications in a series of very similar little containers is a recipe for mistakes,” he says. “Then we wrap each little container with its own unique set of little printed directions, each with varying dosages and times. It’s no wonder we so often get it wrong.”
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