Forgot To Take Your Medicine Today? D'oh! You're Not Alone
Here's a sad medical fact: Only about half of people take their prescription medicines as directed.
When drug experts ask why that's so, people's excuses run the gamut from "It's too expensive" to "I didn't feel sick anymore so I stopped." Though it hasn't been officially noted, "The dog ate it" has probably been used too, and who knows, it may even be true.
Some people lay some of the blame on confusing drug labels. The U.S. Pharmacopeia, a nonprofit that sets quality and safety standards for drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, has a proposal to simplify and clarify all that tiny type on the pill bottle.
Although anyone may stop taking their cholesterol-fighting statin, companies like Express Scripts that manage the drug benefits for employers and insurers put a lot of energy into trying to figure out who's likely to get out of the medication habit and why.
Among the many factors that make it more likely someone will have trouble with medication adherence? Having kids under the age of 18 at home and, for men, having a female doctor, says Bob Nease, chief scientist for Express Scripts. Go figure.
You don't have to wait for clearer pill bottle labels or drug benefit manager nagging to take your medicine. Express Scripts' research shows that the following do-it-yourself tips also help patients remember to pop their pills:
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