How Medly Supports Patients with Medication Adherence
Medication nonadherence is a constant struggle that can be just as much a threat to recovery and wellness as disease itself. Up to 50% of treatment failures can be attributed to nonadherence, including nearly 25% of hospitalizations and upwards of over 100,000 deaths in the US each year.
With some estimates suggesting that only one in two patients adheres to their chronic medication instructions, Medly Pharmacy is committed to doing all we can to help increase medication adherence rates.
What is medication non-adherence?
Medication non-adherence can be defined as either the intentional or unintentional failure to take medications as prescribed. If a patient doesn’t follow the orders correctly that have been prescribed by their doctor or by their prescriber, they may experience a decreased effectiveness of treatment which can lead to their condition getting worse.
- Intentional medication non-adherence: This is the active process where the patient chooses to deviate from the treatment regimen set forth by health providers.
- Unintentional medication non-adherence: The passive process where a patient may be careless or forgetful about adhering to the treatment regimen.
What is medication adherence?
Medication adherence occurs when a patient uses their medications the proper way, in both dosage and timing. Most patients are adherent if they take 80% of the prescribed medication by their physician. If patients are taking less than 80% of their prescribed medication, they are considered non-adherent.
How big of a problem is non-adherence?
Understanding how large of a problem non-adherence can be helps providers better address the issue.
- 50% of patients with a chronic disease do not take their medications as prescribed by their doctor.
- Non-adherence accounts for 30-50% of treatment failures in patients.
- 1 in 3 patients fails to fill their prescription consistently and complete the full dosage of their medications.
- One-third to 2/3 of all medication-related hospitalizations in the U.S. are the result of poor medication adherence by patients.
- The cost of non-adherence in the U.S. exceeds $300 billion annually.
What are some of the factors that affect adherence?
Non-adherence is a complex issue with many causes as varied as the lifestyles of different patients. Non-adherence isn’t simply patients not following directions. For many patients there are in fact many obstacles in the way to complying with medication adherence.
Some of the most common factors include:
- Social/economic: Financial stress can be a major factor. Expensive copayment or the cost of the medication can make medication adherence out of reach. Low health literacy, lack of transportation, lack of family support and conflicting cultural beliefs can also contribute to nonadherence.
- Health system and health care team factors: This can include poor discharge planning, deficient follow-up, an insufficient provider-patient relationship, a lack of positive reinforcement, and a lack of flow and progression of care provided to patients.
- Condition-related: Treatment of asymptomatic disease, chronic conditions, and inadequate understanding of the disease by medication providers can lead to patients not taking their medications.
- Therapy-related: Frequent changes to a medication regimen, a long duration of treatment, a complex regimen, side effects, and lifestyle burdens can all be factors that can affect adherence.
- Patient-related: Knowledge, resources, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations can all affect medication adherence.
How does Medly help to achieve medication adherence in its patients?
- Refill Reminders: Medley asks patients if they want to refill their medications when their prescription is filled. This means patients aren’t at risk of forgetting to refill.
- Counseling & Education: Phone calls and video chats are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to handle the needs of each individual patient. Medly emphasizes the importance of medication adherence on each prescription provided.
- Financial assistance: There are several options available to patients. Coupons and structured monthly payment options are available. The more likely patients are to afford their medications, the more likely they are to take and finish them properly.
- Medication management: Refill synchronization: Medley refills all the patient’s medications at once, which is easier for them to manage so that they don’t ever have to worry about running out.
- Process 3-month supply for the patient: For a 30-day supply with refill (more than 30), Medley will call the physician’s office and also inquire with their insurance to see if we can arrange for a 90-day supply of their medication instead.
- Variety of medication packaging options: For patients with many medications, Medley will supply special packaging to streamline the timing and dosage of when the medications should be administered. Medly supplies blister packs personalized for each patient, labeled with the days of the week and time of day: morning, noon and night.
Your Partner in Patient Medication Adherence
Adherence to medication can be a difficult challenge for nearly all healthcare providers. Many patients simply don’t understand why they have to keep taking their prescribed medication - especially if they are feeling better. It can come down to the patient not realizing why they have to take the proper dosage in a timely manner and finish it, or not knowing how the medication they’re currently taking relates to their current ailment.
This unfortunate situation where the patient lacks the necessary information can create a myriad of problems for them as well as their doctor. It’s critical that patients are clear on what to take, when to take it and to finish the prescription to relieve their illness.
We designed Medley Pharmacy to fit seamlessly into a patient’s life, by using technology to personalize the medication process. Medley offers fast, same-day direct-to-door delivery. We understand each patient is an individual with their own special set of circumstances and needs, which is why we make medication delivery a personal process. Our deliveries are made by full-time Medly staff and patient inquiries are answered by trained pharmacists. Mobile reminders and notifications help keep patients connected to their medication schedule on a daily basis.
As difficult as it is to keep patients on a schedule that ensures medication adherence, encouraging patients to utilize the practical services of Medly Pharmacy can be an enormous step in the right direction.
Medication Adherence: WHO Cares?
Tackling the Problem of Medication Nonadherence
One in Three Patients Not Filling Prescriptions, Study Finds