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

Recommended for you

Exercise good for the spine

April 24, 2017

A world-first study has shown that specific physical activity benefits the discs in our spines and may help to prevent and manage spinal pain.

Is soda bad for your brain? (and is diet soda worse?)

April 20, 2017

Americans love sugar. Together we consumed nearly 11 million metric tons of it in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture, much of it in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks and soda.

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.