PharmExec Blog

Six Steps to Better Medicines Adherence


On Friday, the New England Health Institute (NEHI), outlined six “Priorities for Action” to help steer the solution to better medication adherence in the US. These priorities signal public and private policymakers alike to improve the way patients take their medication.

In 2009, NEHI published research which found that people with poor medication adherence, either by not taking their medication accordingly or not at all, cost the US health care system $290 billion annually. In addition to this research, the Congressional Budget Office published its own study describing the beneficial impact of adherence to therapy; with a projected 5% increase from exposure of Medicare to cover drugs would lead to a 1% decrease in the programs medical and hospital spending.

NEHI’s new report, which resulted from a series of roundtables on adherence in 2012, focuses on the following six points in developing a comprehensive, system-wide solution:

  • Promoting sharing of best practices and lessons learned from pilots of new medication management techniques
  • Supporting large-scale implementation of promising, evidence-based “tactics” for improved medication management
  • Continuing development of metrics of medication use to spur adoption of proven medication management strategies
  • Accelerating adoption of electronic prescribing and electronic medical records that support evidence-based interventions for improved adherence
  • Improving Medication Therapy Management services in Medicare Part D
  • Integrating medication adherence research, policy development and advocacy with broader efforts that aim to improve use of medicines, including those focused on patient safety

For more information, visit NEHI’s website:

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