Monday, November 7, 2016 1:27 PM

Go Ahead and Pop Another Pill!

What?!? Are you sure? Seriously folks, medication administration and compliance is an important topic. Medications, taken appropriately and responsibly, can positively impact health and wellness…but if not, well, that’s a whole ‘nother story…and can be down right expensive!
I read an article recently that featured a study by “CVS Health Research”. At first, I thought, hey, they are just stating common sense when they cited that interventions to keep patients adherent led to improved outcomes and lower spending. Ok, I wouldn’t think you would have to conduct a study to believe that…however, I was very surprised that the best results were targeting ALREADY compliant patients to KEEP them compliant. I would have thought that by targeting the non-compliant patients would have produced the most benefits. Makes sense though to target the already adherent ones; as the saying goes, ”you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ‘em drink”…non-compliant folks are apparently less likely to change even with a focused effort to do so (according to this particular study).
Also cited was that patients with 3 or more chronic conditions (especially hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol) and poly drug therapy, had 7 times greater savings when adherent behavior improved and they estimated that there could be anywhere from $38 million to $68 million in savings per 100,000 population. The study included 1.2 million patients over a 2 year period…wow!
So, the next time you line up all those pills in your Sunday through Saturday boxes, do some research on what you are taking, appropriately question the combinations of drugs and how many you are supposed to consume, and do your best to be “adherent”…it’s hopefully a great way to improve your health and save some dollars while you’re at it!

Wanda Holderman, F.A.C.H.E.
Chief Clinical Integration Officer
Community Medical Centers