Prescriptions: taking advantage of short- and long-term savings
By: Nancy Coveleskie, CHMRx representative
Medication non-adherence is when someone incorrectly takes medicine, takes it on an incorrect schedule, doesn’t refill a prescription, splits pills or simply doesn’t take their medication. This causes unnecessary hospitalizations, preventable worsening of symptoms and an estimated 125,000 deaths per year. Additionally, researchers believe that the U.S. spends $100 to $300 billion in healthcare costs due to medication non-adherence.
Here’s a sampling of some (but not all) reasons why individuals might not take their medication.
- They don’t fully understand the medication’s purpose or thinks it’s unnecessary.
- They don’t have any initial physical symptoms.
- It’s difficult adapting to taking medications daily.
- The costs are too high.
- They think lifestyle changes eliminate the need.
- They’re scared of side effects.
- Post-hospital discharge causes confusion.
Here are some things you can do to prevent medication non-adherence:
Take your medication as prescribed. Your doctor prescribed it for a reason. Before deciding on your own what to do, first talk to your doctor.
Educate yourself. Learn about your diagnosis and how the medications help your body heal or treat symptoms. Discuss with your doctor any concerns about side effects.
Organize your day. Medication dispensers, timers on your cell phone, and creating a new daily routine will help you remember medication times. Don’t worry if it seems to take a while to find the rhythm of your new routine—that’s normal.
Learn about helpful lifestyle changes. You may believe lifestyle changes have ended the need for medications, but never quit taking them without first talking to your doctor, who will need to evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts.
Learn how to be a better prescription consumer. If you’ve been prescribed an expensive medication, ask your doctor what alternatives exist. You can also use your CHMRx card to see if there are discounts.
If leaving the hospital, fill your prescriptions at the hospital pharmacy. This way you have it when you go home without running extra errands.
Use mail order for cost savings and convenience. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting your refill, running out of your medications or traveling in poor weather conditions. Even better, your CHMRx card makes mail order a breeze!
Look to CHMRx for help. Last year, CHM members saved over $45 million and averaged 80 percent off retail prices with their cards. Call CHMRx at 877-403-8233, or visit chmrx.com to find prescription prices in your area or for assistance when interacting with your pharmacy.
Editor’s note: The CHMRx prescription savings card is administered by a third party, not CHM. CHM staff members cannot assist you with CHMRx-related questions. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines for prescription sharing eligibility.