Real Cost of Medication Non-adherence for Diabetics

So I write about the importance of medication adherence on this blog, on Twitter and speak to people everyday about dangers of medication non-adherence and the affect it has on 50% of the patients in the US.

Recent Guidline research published by MedAdNews found that 6 in 10 Americans are now non-adherent to their medications. Now lets talk about what this really means in cost for diabetes patients and the strain medication non-adherence has on the US healthcare system.

The June 2005 issue of Medical Care, a journal by the American Public Health Association, published a study demonstrating that Diabetes patients who are highly compliant with their treatment programs have a 13% hospitalization risk for a diabetes-related problem, but patients with low compliance have more than twice the risk at 30%.

The same study stated the combined drug and medical costs for the most compliant patients average $4,570, which is almost 50 percent below the $8,867 cost for the least compliant group.

A recent report from the CDC states that diabetes rates are rising in the US. More than 23 million Americans have diabetes, with about 1.6 million new cases diagnosed among adults last year.

So currently, according to all these estimates, 13.8 M diabetics are non-adherent to their medication regimes, and cost the healthcare system $122 BILLION. With proper medication adherence, this figure can be reduced in half.

And this number is only going to go up, with almost 1M non-adherent diabetes added each year at a cost of $8.8 Billion.

And this is for one chronic disease.

There are several factors related to why patients are non-adherent to their medications and I do not mean to beat up on diabetics, but I just wanted to illustrate the real costs associated with not taking medications properly.

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