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Research

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A growing body of research addresses the negative and unnecessary impacts of non-compliance for patients, providers, pharmacies and payers.

We've the taken the opportunity of including links to just a few. Please contact us for information on additional research.

Thinking Outside the Pillbox A NEHI Research Brief - August 2009 (link)

  • Poor medication adherence is ... a significant source of waste in our health care system.
  • Poor adherence often leads to preventable worsening of disease, posing serious and unnecessary health risks, particularly for patients with chronic illnesses.
  • An estimated 1/3 to 1/2 of all patients in the U.S. do not take their medications as prescribed by their doctors.
  • Nonadherence has been shown to result in $100 billion each year in excess hospitalizations alone.
  • NEHI estimates that nonadherence along with suboptimal prescribing, drug administration, and diagnosis could result in as much as $290 billion per year in avoidable medical spending or 13 percent of total health care expenditures.
  • 156 Million Doctors Visits
  • 11.5 Million Hospital Admissions
  • $2,000 per year in Extra Medical Costs

This comprehensive study (link) concludes that a collaborative approach is needed to solve the non-compliance issue and that they need timely and complete data. Few of the design principles outlined here can succeed without making timely and complete data available to patients, physicians, and other providers when they need it. Data on patients and on relevant medications must be available at the point of prescription and at every point of patient follow-up. Lack of complete and timely data will hinder the ability of health care providers to identify and track non-adherent patients.


Medication Regimens: Causes of Noncompliance Office of Inspector General, Department of Health & Human Services (link)

Noncompliance with medication orders:

  • About 10 percent of hospital admissions
  • Noncompliance with cardiovascular disease results in an excess of 125,000 deaths
  • Missed doses of cardiac anti-arrhythmics lead to arrhythmia and cardiac arrest
  • Missed doses of anti-hypertensives lead to rebound hypertension (sometimes worse than if no medication had been taken in the first place).
  • Up to 23 percent of nursing home admissions may be due to elderly patients inability to self-administer medications
  • 58 percent of the elderly made errors when taking their medication

Why Pharmacists Belong In The Medical Home (link)

  • 33 - 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions adhere completely to prescribed medication therapies

Poor Adherence to Medications May Be Associated with Falls J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2010) 65A(5): 553-558 first published online March 15, 2010 (link)

  • Older adults who sometimes forget to take their medicine fall 50% more often than those who take their medication as prescribed.


Promoting Medication Adherence in Older Adults . . . and the Rest of Us Diabetes Spectrum Volume 22, Number 2, 2009 (link)

  • 23% of individuals entering nursing homes do so because the they are unable to self medicate at home

University of Birmingham - Automatic Medicine Dispensers A Review of Evidence and Current Practice This study (link) documented significant cost savings from the use of an automated pill dispenser much like our standard product. They conclude that the dispenser alone is a valuable tool:

Automatic medicine dispensers appear to be a valuable addition to the range of aids available to support medicines compliance. As such they may be useful in enabling carefully selected people to sustain health and independence and may be considered useful in terms of prevention. They do not guarantee that medication has been taken any more than other such aids, but they may increase the likelihood among certain of those who actually want to take their tablets.

Evaluating the Cost of Medication Non Compliance in the Treatment of Epilepsy This study (link) although specific to treatment of epilepsy comes to the same conclusion as other chronic illnesses: The results of the study shows that non adherence to prescribed medication is a severe problem in the treatment of epilepsy. Only 75% of US population with chronic diseases takes medication as prescribed and this failure to comply with treatment regimen leads to two types of consequences: a reduction in the health outcome for the patient and an increase in health care costs.


Improving Prescription Medication Adherence is Key to Better Health Care PhRMA Brief - January 2011 - August 2009 (link)

  • Nearly 75 percent of adults are non-adherent
  • Adherence is inversely proportional to the number of times a patient must take their medicine each day
  • 32 Million Americans use three or more medicines daily
  • 50% of doses are taken incorrectly(chronically ill who regularly fill their prescriptions)
  • The average 75-year old has 3 chronic conditions and takes 5 medicines
  • 40 percent of nursing home admissions
  • $2,000 per year, per patient just for additional physician visits
  • 33 to 69 percent of medicine-related hospital admissions are caused by poor adherence,
  • Efforts to improve adherence represent win-win solutions in which patients, employers, insurers and the public all benefit

A Call to Action: Eliminate Handwritten Prescriptions Within 3 Years! ISMP, Institute for Safe medication Practices (link)

  • 50% - 90% of all patients do not take their medications according to recommended instructions.

The Role of Medication NonCompliance and Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalizations of the Elderly Nananda Col, MPP; James E. Fanale, MD; Penelope Kronholm, MD Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(4):841-845 (link)

  • 30% of all hospital admissions for elderly

The Importance of Medication Adherence (link)

  • 125,000 Americans die annually (342 people every day) due to poor medication adherence

Additional Studies Med-E-Lert products are the focus of a current US research study. We are delighted to participate in other industry and academic studies.

Researchers wishing to integrate automated pill dispensers into their medication and/or medication compliance studies are invited to contact us. Click here to give us your contact information and we'll give you a call.

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