Need care during the outbreak? Learn how DHPV can help

Need care during the outbreak? Learn how DHPV can help

Failing to Take Prescribed Medication: An American Epidemic

Failing to Take Prescribed Medication: An American Epidemic

Americans are facing an epidemic that is 100 percent preventable: “non-adherence to prescribed medication.” The New York Times suggests that this is a widespread problem and is affecting people more than any disease. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, studies show that 20 to 30 percent of medicine prescriptions are left unfilled and about 50 percent of medications prescribed for chronic diseases are not taken as they are prescribed. It was also reported that people who do take their prescribed medications only take about half of the prescribed dosage.

“This lack of adherence is estimated to cause approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations, and to cost the American health care system between $100 billion and $289 billion a year,” The New York Times reported. Drugs cannot work if people do not take them. The article suggests that this partly explains why medications that have done well in studies have failed to perform as well in the commercial market. It also explains why patients do not get better or suffer from relapses.

The article details improvements that can be made to help this epidemic, such as “Multiple drugs for a condition could be combined into one pill or packaged together, or dosing can be simplified. Doctors and pharmacists can use digital technology to interact with patients and periodically reinforce the importance of staying on their medication.” Patients who forget to take drugs can also use apps and devices to help them remember.

 

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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