Dear Annie: As a patient, I know how easy it is to forget to take your medication one day. As a pharmacist, I also know how serious the consequences can be. A recent report finds that one out of seven Americans with chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, are not taking their medications as prescribed.
Sometimes patients neglect to fill or refill a prescription, miss a dose, take an old medication for a new problem, and more. Although these mistakes may seem harmless, they take a toll on patients’ health and on the well-being of our nation’s health care system, costing an estimated $290 billion annually. Pharmacists can help patients understand how medications prevent the progression of disease, reduce complications and contribute to a healthier life.