Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Patient Compliance: Is There a Solution? - 3

Here are some more percentages on Noncompliance from the MedAdNews Trend Report:

So here's the MDs take on noncompliance:
Sex Breakdown
Men: 65%
Women: 5%
Equal: 30%
Age Breakdown
18-34: 23%
35-49: 27%
50-64: 23%
65+: 17%

Real numbers based on Guideline Survey:
Female: 62%
18-34 65%
35-54 63%

As you can see, the MDs are really, really wrong about who they believe is compliant. It could go back to the "white coat" adherence I wrote about in June. I would imagine the majority of patients do not get their blood tested regularly, so the MDs have to rely on what their patients tell them. (I have to admit that I have not gone to have my follow-up blood work done - I'm only two months late. Also going to the dentist today but I will not lie - I do not floss as much as I should).

Here are some numbers on specific ailments:
Insomnia: 84% - wouldn't they realize they are awake and take their medication?

Incontinence: 78% - I would think that after one or two public incidents that they would take their meds.

Depression: 77% - this is understandable. One of my psychologist friends told me that the reason sucide rates are higher among teens on antidepressants is because the antidepressants start to work and get the teens into a state of motivation to commit suicide, whereas without them, they are too depressed to do anything. Kind of a horrible fact.

Pain: 77% - again, I would think that if you are in pain, you would take your meds.

Asthma: 76% - if it is hard to breathe, take your meds.

Anxiety: 75% - I can understand this one due to side effects and when their medication is working, they feel they no longer need it, thus they stop taking it and become anxious.

There are more facts and factors covered in the report, but only two more which are reflective of the high costs of medications.

When the MDs were asked what they thought the number 1 reason for noncompliance - 71% responded: "My patients cannot pay for all their medications".

67% of patients and 95% of MDs stated their #1 interest in a program to enhance compliance would be "a discount program for those who renew their scripts on time" .

At least we all can agree on one thing - medications are too expensive and if they were cheaper, everyone would take more.

Speaking of paying for medications, my new company is on an HSA program (which is supposed to save us money) but with my medications (2), my wife's meds (2) and our son's single prescription, the monthly cost was aobut $435 - not the $25 co-pay with my old program ($125). Granted with the HSA less is taken out of my pay and after the deductible ($4,000) is hit, everything is covered. However, getting to that number would take eight months of medication plus our twice a year check-ups - given that we are healthy. But HSAs are another post.

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