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Experts offer policy recommendations for improving medication adherence
Date:10/27/2009

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 27, 2009 A diverse group of health care and consumer organizations released five policy recommendations this week that are designed to promote better medication adherence and improved health outcomes for patients.

The group, which includes the American College of Cardiology, GlaxoSmithKline, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Consumers League and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, focused their recommendations on the areas of quality improvement, care coordination, health information technology, patient/provider education and engagement, and health services research.

Although some of the recommendations have been the subject of discussion during the ongoing health care reform debate, and in fact have been reflected in some of the proposals under consideration, the recommendations are being released with an eye toward an ongoing and consistent commitment to improving health care - and health outcomes - in America.

According to a 2005 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an estimated one-third to one-half of all patients in the United States do not take their medications as prescribed. The impact of this non-adherence is costly in terms of both quality of care and medical expenses. In fact, recent research including work by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) and a 2004 study published in Medical Care suggested that costs resulting from non-adherence may be as high as $300 billion annually.

"Not only is poor medication adherence costly, but it also can be dangerous," said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of National Consumers League. "Because patients don't take their medications for a variety of reasons, including side effects, misconceptions or fears about the medication, trouble with dosing, and costs such as co-pays, we need to employ a multitude of strategies to improve adherence. Our efforts are focused on identifyin
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Contact: Tom Murphy
tmurphy@ccapr.com
202-609-6000
Chandler Chicco Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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