Medication Adherence Leads to Lower Health Care Use & Costs

Researchers have routinely found that improved medication adherence (or getting people to take medicine prescribed for them) is associated with greatly reduced total health care use and costs. But previous studies do not provide strong evidence of a causal link. This article employs a more robust methodology to examine the relationship. This study results indicate that although improved medication adherence by people with four chronic vascular diseases increased pharmacy costs, it also produced substantial medical savings as a result of reductions in hospitalization and emergency department use. Implications: Programs to improve medication adherence are worth consideration by insurers, government payers, and patients, as long as intervention costs do not exceed the estimated health care cost savings. (Source: Health Aff January 2011 vol. 30 no. 1 91-99)