What? Actually, 1/3 of prescriptions go UNfilled. The fancy word for this is “nonadherence.”
A Canadian study followed nearly 16,000 patients. The results: nonadherence most often this occurs due to prescribing
- expensive drugs and
- preventive therapies for chronic conditions.
- Also, patients were more likely to not get medicines with higher copays, recent hospitalization, and when the patients had more severe comorbid (long-term) conditions.
Interestingly, antibiotics were most likely to be filled. Patients who had more visits with the prescribing physician were more likely to fill their prescriptions (this may speak to trust/knowledge of each other). And, older patients more likely filled their prescriptions.
As a provider, I weigh the cost of the medicine and frequency medicine needs to be taken, with the effectiveness for the patient’s specific condition. If I prescribe a medicine that the patient does not believe they need/cannot afford, who have I helped?