Medication Non-Adherence: An Epidemic Needing Treatment

A new report came out late last month indicating that at least one-third of American adults do not adhere to medications, which is causing approximately $100 billion each year in preventable healthcare costs. Meanwhile, a second study released at around the same time found that disabled patients who do not take their medications are more likely to make more emergency visits.

One of the major factors is that most clinicians are not trained in identifying medical non-adherence. Another important variable is the cost associated with taking medications regularly and following the instructions from healthcare providers. Other factors include conflicts with the patient’s belief system, the patient deeming the medication as not therapeutic and the paucity of caution.

Furthermore, fewer than 100 million people in the nation do not comprehend well enough to understand the medical information given to them. Yet, Americans still consume more medication than any other country in the world.

medication nonadherence

One of the studies suggested that an efficient way to handle the issue of non-adherence is to treat it as a medical condition. Researchers recommend that professionals ask patients questions, such as if he or she has any issues with taking the medication, to ensure that the prescribed user is comfortable with the medication. Ultimately, patients should be as familiar with the medication they’re taking as they are with the condition it’s intended to be treating.

“Without a correct diagnosis made for the specific medication nonadherence phenotype, no significant benefit will be achieved; even worse, patient harm can occur and resources can be unnecessarily wasted,” study authors wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association Viewpoint. “This represents another critical reason to better understand how to best identify medication nonadherence and intervene appropriately in order to address these increasingly important health policy issues.”

RxWiki is a website that is working hard to improve the medication adherence levels through its innovative digital pharmacist network that encourages proper decision-making skills and empowers patients to be an active participant in the management of their own healthcare needs. The platform publishes a top medication encyclopedia that consists of verified, in-depth and dependable information to patients and medical care providers. RxWiki was designed to address the many issues facing the healthcare industry, including the problem of medication non-adherence.

What is interesting to note is that studies have concluded that blogs, personal websites and retail product reviews consist of numerous medical inaccuracies. This has led to tremendous damage to the patients and has caused a mismanagement of sorts to the individual’s healthcare needs. The features on RxWiki remedy these situations.

Unlike other health publications, RxWiki posts new and up-to-date information about medications and the pharmaceutical industry on a frequent basis. The latest news reports and important medications information are updated within moments and visitors can inform themselves as soon as the articles are published. Since the establishment of RxWiki, patients have had access to some of the most trusted information from the FDA, pharmaceuticals, OTC and natural supplement manufacturers.  Patients can access this information from anywhere in the world through any smartphone, tablet or computer.

With a lot of patients making the transition to digital media rather than utilizing the conventional forms of media, its mobile network has become crucial for patients and the website’s visitors.

“With millions of patients searching for health information on their smartphones, there is a major opportunity for pharmacists to connect with patients outside the pharmacy,” RxWiki publisher and CEO Donald Hackett said in a press release. “RxWiki Mobile+ enables pharmacists to prescribe trusted information to patients on any digital device, at any time, wherever they are.”

The main strategy for RxWiki is to dole out encyclopedic information that offers insight into prescriptions, natural products and OTCs. To ensure accuracy, the encyclopedia is edited and reviewed by qualified, experienced and professional pharmacists and has become accessible on various social media venues, pharmacy websites and mobile applications.

“The strategic goal of this partnership is to empower community pharmacists with world-class medication information and digital solutions to better engage patients within the pharmacy and from any digital device,” said Hackett in a news release.

Pew Internet Research published a study recently that found one-third of time spent online is on a mobile smartphone and it is projected that half a billion people across the globe will be regularly using healthcare mobile applications.

“The rapid adoption of mobile devices gives community pharmacists another opportunity to improve medication therapy management and reduce costs,” Hackett added. “RxWiki’s Digital Pharmacist network members can ensure their patients receive trusted, consistent information throughout the medication delivery experience provided by RxWiki Mobile+.”

At the present time, hospitals, clinics and physicians can also issue customized information to their patients from within EMR, eRX systems and patient portals. The primary objective of RxWiki’s encyclopedia is to ensure proper collaboration between both the healthcare providers and patients to enhance adherence to medication, lessen the hefty costs and, most importantly, save lives.


I am a Consulting and Change Management major at the University of Texas at Austin.

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