IMS: Responsible Medication Use Could Cut Health Costs

Irresponsible medicine use by patients and healthcare professionals incurs costs of more than $200 billion each year in the U.S. healthcare system, according to the Avoidable Costs in U.S. Healthcare: The $200 Billion Opportunity from Using Medicines More Responsibly report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The $200 billion represents 8% of the country’s total annual healthcare expenditures and amounts to millions of avoidable hospital admissions, outpatient treatments, pharmaceutical prescriptions and emergency room visits for patients, IMS found. The report examines six areas that contribute to unnecessary costs: medication nonadherence, delayed evidence-based treatment practice, misuse of antibiotics, medication errors, suboptimal use of generics and mismanaged polypharmacy in older adults.