"We saw in the earlier study the detrimental effect of increasing copayments on patient medication adherence. Now with this study, we are able to show that removing economic barriers to medication can positively affect patient behavior," said Michael C. Sokol, MD, MS, medical director for GSK's Health Management Innovations team.
Good Health is Good Business
More often than not, today's greatest healthcare problems are chronic conditions which require ongoing, patient-centered management. In fact, $3 of every $4 spent on healthcare in the US(7) goes to treating the 45% of Americans with at least one chronic disease.(8) As well, according to the Milken Institute, the seven most common chronic diseases cost the US economy $1 trillion each year -- including both direct and indirect costs. That figure is expected to reach $6 trillion each year by the middle of the century if unchecked.(9)
Poor adherence to a medication regimen is a serious problem, especially for those with chronic diseases, contributing to substantial worsening of disease, complications, death, and increased healthcare costs.(10) While employers have often implemented strategies of shifting costs onto the patient, this is only a short-term economic fix. To lower overall healthcare costs and improve the health of patients, the focus must be on the real problem -- chronic diseases.
"We must encourage patients to take medications as prescribed for these
chronic conditions, and encourage employers to support the health
management efforts of their workers," said Dr. Mark Fendrick. "As a nation,
we must look at the healthcare continuum, focusing on prevention to keep
people healthier, giving patients the right treatments to maintain t
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