Today in the United States, we have a growing problem around the proper usage of and adherence to medications. It is quickly becoming America’s “other drug problem.” Patients commonly forget to take their medications, and sometimes just choose not to take them. Many consumers may not understand the implications of incorrectly taking their medications, and the symptoms may be unnoticeable or be relatively minor, like a small headache. But not adhering properly to a medication routine can drastically alter treatment effectiveness and possibly be life-threatening.
Many consumers may not even know they are incorrectly taking their medications, a few definitions of nonadherence include:
Delaying or not refilling a prescription
Discontinuing a medication before the therapy course is completed
Skipping doses, and taking more or less of a prescribed medication
Altering the dosing schedule or taking a pill at the wrong time
Holding on to partially used or expired medications, “just in case”
To help combat this growing healthcare problem, patients are encouraged to see their PHARMACISTS to ensure that they are taking the proper dosage… at the proper time…in the proper way…Your pharmacist is THE medication expert and can offer a wealth of health and medication information. He/She is available to discuss proper medication usage, food/drug interactions, side effects, dosing, generics and over-the-counter medications, compliance issues and more. Pharmacists even offer basic healthcare services such as blood pressure screenings and flu shots.
In this interview provided by the American Pharmacists Association, Kristen Binaso and Dr. Adam Welch provide some insight on the problem. More information can be found at www.pharmacist.com.