Have you ever heard similar instructions from your doctor and gone home, only to forget the regimen she prescribed? If you answered yes, you might be among the 75 percent of adults who don't follow their doctors' recommendations.
Public health experts call this non-adherence. And, not only is it one of the major inefficiencies in our health care system — costing an estimated $300 billion annually in the U.S. — it's not good for patients.
"People who take their medication as prescribed may have a better chance of living healthier lives," said Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer at Merck.
That's why Merck is joining the efforts of many in the global healthcare community to identify the reasons people don't take their medicines as prescribed. Additionally, Merck is proactively working with others in our industry to develop solutions that can lead to better outcomes.
Results from recent studies conducted by Merck scientists point to three beliefs about about non-adherence:
"The reasons why patients aren't adherent remains a mystery. You might assume that it has something to do with age, or gender or education or income level. It turns out that this problem of non-adherence cuts across all of those categories," said Rosenblatt, who was also recently featured in a video speaking on this topic.
Merck has recently added a new section to MerckEngage, our free online resource for healthy living, called RxForHealth. It's designed to help consumers stay on course with their treatment and have better conversations with their health care professionals about the medicines they have been prescribed.
Among the new tools available on MerckEngage is the Adherence Estimator™, a self-scoring patient survey that helps patients and their health care professionals identify whether they are at low, medium or high risk for adherence problems. After patients answer three simple questions about their beliefs about a medicine, the tool provides easy-to-understand, personalized information addressing those concerns.
Create a personal pledge at scriptyourfuture.org to remind yourself of all the reasons you have to stay healthy and take your medicine.
At Merck, we believe no one should go without the medicines or vaccines they need. For more information about our patient assistance programs, visit merckhelps.com.
Watch this short video clip of Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer at Merck, talk about the importance of taking your medications as prescribed.