- Medications adherence value
Why are they important?
For prescription medications to successfully treat a disease, consistent use of the medications is required.1 However, many people do not realize the damages non-adherence and non-compliance in taking medications can do to their lives.2 The following section will tell you about the consequences associated with non-adherence and non-compliance to treatment.
Consequences of non-adherence and non-compliance
Not taking your medications on time or as directed can lead to:
- Worsening of your disease and a possibility of further complications.2,3 For example:
- Untreated high blood pressure raises your risk of heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, stroke or dementia4
- High cholesterol can lead to cholesterol and plaques building in your artery walls, reducing blood flow to the rest of your body. This can cause chest pain. If the plaques break loose, a blood clot may form and subsequently lead to a heart attack or stroke5,6
- Diabetes is the top cause of vision loss and blindness among working-age adults. The better blood glucose levels are controlled, the lower the risk of developing severe eye complications. Uncontrolled diabetes also leads to nerve damage, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.7 Read more about the complications of diabetes here.
- Extended, poor blood glucose control increases the chances of developing heart disease and stroke7
- Reduced ability to function and decreased quality of life3
- Reduced productivity (work, school, etc)1
- Increased healthcare costs due to:
- Hospitalization—studies have shown that patients with diabetes or high blood pressure who did not consistently take their medications were more likely to be hospitalized1
- Nursing home admissions1
- More frequent doctor visits3
- Need of more complicated treatment resources (medications, medical equipment, etc)3
- An increase in long-term cost of living
- Increased burden to the family due to disease progression/complications
- Premature deaths1
- PhRMA. Improving prescription medicine adherence is key to better health care. Available at https://www.phrma.org/-/media/Project/PhRMA/PhRMA-Org/PhRMA-Org/PDF/Patient_Savings_Programs_FINAL_062413.pdf. Accessed 8 October, 2019.
- American Heart Assocation. Medication adherence–taking your meds as directed. Available at http://www.heart.org/heartorg/conditions/more/consumerhealthcare/medication-adherence---taking-your-meds-as-directed_ucm_453329_article.jsp#.VuJnIPyUfHQ. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- National Stroke Association. Medication adherence and compliance. Available at https://www.stroke.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/medication-information/medication-adherence-taking-your-meds-as-directed. Accessed 8 October, 2019.
- NHS choices. High blood pressure (Hypertension). Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blood-pressure-(high)/pages/introduction.aspx. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- NHS choices. High cholesterol. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cholesterol/pages/introduction.aspx. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- Mayo Clinic. High cholesterol: Symptoms and causes. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/dxc-20181874. Accessed 19 September, 2019.
- NHS choices. Type 2 diabetes. Available at http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetes-type2/pages/introduction.aspx?url=pages/what-is-it.aspx. Accessed 19 September, 2019.