Health Care Costs and Patient Noncompliance

Patient non-compliance in America is a major medical problem with an estimated cost in excess of $100 billion a year. The cost associated with this issue is as a result of hospitalization, development of complications, disease progression, premature disability, or death. Over the last 25 years, literally thousands of articles and research papers have been written on this topic, mainly focusing on the patient’s role, but still resulting in inconclusive and sometimes confusing results. What is clear is that a device known as an automated pill dispenser can greatly improve medication adherence (or compliance) in most patients.

While researchers continue to investigate ways to improve medication compliance in patients by exploring the pharmacist’s role, physician’s role and the patient’s role, as well as the implications of specific ailments, the automatic pill dispenser continues to improve lives. These devices are able to deliver medication at preprogrammed times up to four times per day, for as long as one month. An audible alarm or flashing LED light alerts the patients at medication time and the dosages is delivered. More sophisticated units are able to send email or text message reports to family members or caregivers, and come with backup battery supply in case of a power outage.

Here are some disturbing statistics relating to medication non-compliance:

1. Approximately 125,000 people with treatable ailments die each year in the USA because they fail to take their medication at the prescribed times.

2. About 20% of patients never return to the pharmacy to refill their original prescriptions.

3. 60% of patients cannot even identify their own medications.

4. Approximately one quarter of nursing home admissions are as a result of an event that occurred due to improper self-administration of prescription medicine.

5. As many as 20% of patients take other people’s medicine.

6. Patient non-compliance to medication results in emergency room visits, various complications which cost about $8.5 billion annually.

Medication non-compliance is reported to be a serious issue with about 50-70% of patients in the United States. For patients with chronic illnesses, the rate is even higher due to long term, complicated regimens that often affect the patient’s behavioral patterns. Children are also less likely to follow their medication treatment plan because they rely on adult supervision.

Research has proven over and over again that medication noncompliance is a serious medical issue. It is a major medical problem that may lead to emergency room visits, elevated costs, and premature death. An Automated Pill Dispenser is wonderful and invaluable tolls to assist loved ones with a complex treatment plan. Perfect for caregivers and concerned family members, these life-saving automated pill dispensers improve compliance and give peace of mind.