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New England Journal of Medicine Article Trumpets “Priority” Status of Helping Patients Take Medications Correctly
Date:4/9/2010

NACDS highlights pledge that pharmacy will own the issue of “medication adherence.”

Alexandria, VA (Vocus) April 10, 2010 -- An article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by two healthcare policy opinion leaders is fueling the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ (NACDS) message that pharmacy’s role in helping patients take medications correctly is key to improving lives and reducing long-term healthcare costs.

David M. Cutler, Ph.D., a professor of economics at Harvard University who was senior healthcare advisor to President Obama’s presidential campaign, and Wendy Everett, Sc.D., president of the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI), authored the article, “Thinking Outside the Pillbox – Medication Adherence as a Priority for Health Care Reform.” Published in the April 7, 2010, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, Drs. Cutler and Everett note that more than $100 billion is spent each year on avoidable hospitalizations. That is one aspect of an even larger problem, as NEHI announced in July 2009 its estimate that poor medication adherence leads to $290 billion in total annual costs, or 13 percent of all healthcare expenditures.

“Poor adherence to treatment regimens has long been recognized as a substantial roadblock to achieving better outcomes for patients,” Drs. Cutler and Everett wrote. “We’ve known for some time that improved adherence can lead to improvements in health outcomes and reductions in health care spending.”

This article supports NACDS’ campaign to raise awareness of pharmacy’s role in
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