I was recently invited to speak at a health and wellness conference at a local church. I was asked to share about taking medications from a pharmacist perspective and decided to address prescription non-compliance. Prescription non-compliance is the failure to take prescribed medication and/or follow prescribed medication instructions.
I shared three DYK (Did You Know) compliance stats with participants. The conference attendees were given an opportunity to share their personal experiences and opinions about prescription non-compliance. It was a very engaging dialogue and we all learned much from each other. Below are the DYK’s and collective conclusions and solutions we developed during the workshop I facilitated.
#1 DYK- Up to one-third (1/3) of prescriptions written get filled at a pharmacy.1 Many of my workshop guest were not surprised by this stat. When asked why they feel prescriptions don’t get filled, the reasons ranged from some people don’t like taking medication to not making time to go to pharmacy. However, the majority agreed that cost was the primary reason. A solution we came up with is asking their provider (doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner) to write for generic drugs and larger quantities, which are usually more cost-effective.
#2 DYK – Fifty percent (50%) of people taking chronic medications stop taking it in first year.1 I also shared that the largest drop is within the first month.1 The reasons guests offered for this stat was patient not fully understanding why they’re taking medication, medication side effects and cost once again was the primary reason. This opened the door for me to introduce the importance of patients being their own advocates. I encouraged them to ask providers questions about things they’re unsure of and not to be afraid of getting second opinions.
#3 DYK – The annual cost of non-compliance in the U.S. is ~ $290 billion.1 Participants all agreed that not taking medications prescribed has the potential to lead to worsening of the condition that you initially sought medical attention for. Which in turn leads to more medical visits, labs, and even hospitalization, all along driving up cost. I shared the importance of being proactive towards any physical ailments or conditions they may experience, whether they choose traditional therapies or home remedies. I emphasized the importance of listening to your body and being cooperative in its healing or restorative process.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…I Corinthians 6:19 NIV
I closed the workshop with the above scripture and a quick review of stewardship. According to the scripture, our bodies don’t belong to us; they belong to God. We are simply stewards over the body we have been given. As good stewards, it’s our responsibility to properly care for our bodies by eating healthy and exercising. My stewardship course is a scriptural based self-study guide that gives you a better understanding of stewardship in the three areas of finance, health, and resources. To learn more visit Stewardship Course.
Tonya Cross, Rph
Tonya Cross is the organization leader of The Vine Events. She has over 20 years of experience in pharmacy services as a registered pharmacist. She also has a passion for accessory design and natural hair! To book her for workshops or speaking engagements visit contact us.
1. Insights Advancing The Science of Pharmacy Care – Adherence: Why it’s so hard and what we can do about it. http://www.cvshealth.com