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Experts to Assess Impacts and Policy Barriers to Improving Proper Medication Adherence
Date:7/15/2009

mendations that can enhance or complement health policy reforms currently underway.

Research shows that as many as 80 percent of patients may not be adhering to their medication regimens, resulting in negative consequences for patients, the health care system and society as a whole. In addition, past studies have found that poor adherence drains precious health care dollars from the system -- an estimated $100 billion to $300 billion annually -- and results in the significant worsening of disease and death.

RAND researchers performed a systematic review of the non-cost related barriers to medication adherence and will discuss some preliminary results of their review.

Participants at today's conference will also hear from Avalere Health about highlights from on-the-ground efforts that are aiming to improve adherence and could serve as model programs in the future. Key components of these programs include a focus on improving each individual patient's medication regimen, as well as incorporating a one-to-one approach to identifying and addressing the many patient behaviors, attitudes and other barriers that lead to low adherence.

"Adherence goes beyond personal responsibility," says Miryam Frieder of Avalere Health. "Multiple factors contribute to low medication adherence, including a person's understanding of their condition and the importance of taking medications, cost, side effects, personal beliefs, and complexity of the drug regimen. Our research points to strategies to reduce these obstacles, whether they exist in the health delivery system, in the patient's home, or because of a specific factor related to their medication."

Following the research presentations, participants will engage in panel discussions, designed to address the role of adherence in some of the most discussed aspects in the health reform debate. Among the topics to be tackled will
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