Many Americans earn low grades for proper med use: survey

June 25, 2013
Many americans earn low grades for proper med use: survey
On average, adults over 40 with chronic conditions only score a C, one-third get a D or F.

(HealthDay)—Americans get an average of C+ on the proper use of medications, and one in seven even gets an F, a new report card shows.

Released by a pharmacists group on Tuesday, the report card was based on the findings of a of more than 1,000 adults, aged 40 and older, who have received a prescription for a .

The participants were asked nine questions: whether or not in the past 12 months they failed to fill a prescription; neglected to have a prescription refilled; missed a dose; took a lower dose than prescribed; took a higher dose than prescribed; stopped a prescription early; took an old medication for a new problem without consulting a doctor; took someone else's medicine; or forgot whether they'd taken a medication.

On average, the participants earned a C+ in terms of taking their medication properly. One in seven—the equivalent of more than 10 million adults—were given an F. Overall, one-third of respondents received either a D or F.

The report card grades may underestimate the problem because some people are unlikely to admit to improper use of medications, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) noted.

The degree of personal connection with a or pharmacy staff was the biggest predictor of proper use of medications. Patients of independent community pharmacies had the highest level of (89 percent agreeing that pharmacist or staff 'knows you pretty well'), followed by large chains (67 percent) and mail order (36 percent).

Other factors associated with proper medication use were: whether medications were affordable; whether there was continuity in patients' health care usage; whether patients felt it was important to take their medication as prescribed; how well-informed patients felt about their health; and drug side effects.

"Proper prescription can improve patient health outcomes and lower , so anything less than an A on medication adherence is concerning," B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the NCPA, said in an association news release.

"Pharmacists can help patients and caregivers overcome barriers to effectively and consistently follow medication regimens. Indeed, independent in particular may be well-suited to boost patient adherence given their close connection with patients and their caregivers," Hoey added.

Explore further: Nearly 30 percent of women fail to pick up new prescriptions for osteoporosis, study finds

More information: The U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences has more about taking medicines.

Related Stories

Nearly 30 percent of women fail to pick up new prescriptions for osteoporosis, study finds

April 18, 2013
Nearly 30 percent of women failed to pick up their bisphosphonate prescriptions, a medication that is most commonly used to treat osteoporosis and similar bone diseases, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published this ...

Many Americans skipping meds to save money, CDC says

April 9, 2013
(HealthDay)—Cash-strapped Americans often skip doses of pricey prescription drugs or take less than was prescribed by their doctor, new research shows.

AHRQ offers strategies to prevent adverse drug events

June 21, 2013
(HealthDay)—Strategies to prevent adverse drug events (ADEs) have been recommended and published in a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Drug-benefit managers can help pharmacists ensure patient compliance

December 14, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Patients who fail to follow their prescribed treatments cost the U.S. health care system an estimated $100 billion annually. But community pharmacists and insurance benefit managers, working together, can ...

Increased role of pharmacists—safer medication use

September 4, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers at The University of Queensland's School of Pharmacy are making medication use safer by incorporating pharmacists into general practice medical centres.

Recommended for you

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers

September 19, 2017
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists ...

Study suggests link between youth football and later-life emotional, behavioral impairment

September 19, 2017
A new study has found an association between participation in youth tackle football before age 12 and impaired mood and behavior later in life. The study appears in Nature's Translational Psychiatry.

Self-confidence affected by teammates, study finds

September 19, 2017
A person's confidence in their own ability varies significantly depending on who is in their team, according to new research from the University of Stirling.

Video game boosts sex health IQ and attitudes in minority teens

September 18, 2017
A videogame designed by Yale researchers to promote health and reduce risky behavior in teens improves sexual health knowledge and attitudes among minority youth, according to a new study. The findings validate the value ...

Two Americas: Seniors are getting healthier but most gains go to high-income whites

September 18, 2017
Older Americans report feeling dramatically healthier than they did 14 years ago but that good health isn't evenly distributed, with much of the gain going to the wealthiest, most highly educated and whites.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.