The Cost of Non-Optimized Medications

Money within a Pill Bottle_iStock.com/slobo
Image source: iStock.com/slobo

Did you know, if the drugs you’re taking are wrong, skipped, or make you sick, there’s the possibility of incurring additional cost? A recent study published by The University of California – San Diego estimated that the current cost of each possible consequence and estimated total annual cost of illnesses and deaths that result from non-optimized medication therapy to be $528.4 billion. They estimated that the average cost of an individual experiencing treatment failure, a new medical problem or both after initial prescription use to be approximately $2,500.

How do Non-Optimized Medications lead to additional cost?

Here’s an example of non-optimized medications: You are diagnosed with asthma and your doctor prescribes you with a rescue inhaler. When you go to fill your prescription, you discover that the copay is too expensive for your budget and you choose not to purchase it. You later suffer from an asthma attack and must go to the hospital. You’re now stuck with a very expensive medical bill.

This isn’t the only example in which you could incur additional costs, sometimes medications lead to side-effects resulting in the need for added treatment.

What can we do to solve this?

The University of California – San Diego’s study reached the conclusion that to improve medication-related care, we need to expand comprehensive medication management programs, in which clinical pharmacists have access to complete medical records, improved dialogue with other members of a patient’s health care team and input as a medication is prescribed — similar to what is now taking place at many U.S. Veterans Affairs clinics.

How can Tria Health help?

Tria Health provides one-on-one consultations with pharmacists, allowing you to review all your medications and make sure everything is safe, affordable and effective.

Visit www.triahealth.com to learn more!

 

Source: Jonathan H. Watanabe, Terry McInnis, Jan D. Hirsch. Cost of Prescription Drug–Related Morbidity and Mortality. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2018; 106002801876515 DOI: 10.1177/1060028018765159

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