Medication non-adherence is a serious public health issue costing lives and money. Research shows that many patients don’t take or use their prescribed medicines as recommended, whether that’s because they lead a busy lifestyle or are following complex medication regimes. In England alone, between a third and half of all medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as recommended. Jeremy Hunt, recently quoted the costs of medicine wastage at a staggering annual £300 million, at least half of which is avoidable, whilst the cost to the NHS of people not taking their medicines properly and not getting the full benefits to their health is estimated at more than £500 million a year.
Behind these startling facts lie thousands of family tragedies and yet in the main, the general public are largely unaware of the critical risks around medication non-adherence. The consequences go far beyond what most patients envisage when they forget to take their pills; in the EU alone, nearly 200,000 deaths occur each year due to missed doses of medication2. The longstanding problem of how to improve adherence isn’t something one organisation can solve on its own.
For this reason, Omnicell UK & Ireland has launched the ‘Let’s Take Care of It’ campaign to raise the profile of non-adherence, change perceptions, improve understanding and encourage conversations.
As part of the campaign, 2015 will see the first ‘National Medication Adherence Week’ – a week of action aimed at getting healthcare professionals talking about how to tackle the issue, saving lives and money in the process. Look out for the launch of a new report in to the issue, as well as startling new figures.
Join with us and why not show your support for adherence by signing up to our pledge. To find out more information visit the Lets Take Care of it Campaign website.