Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Talking to Patients Is Key to Improving Adherence: RX Costs May Impact Compliance

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Talking to Patients Is Key to Improving Adherence: RX Costs May Impact Compliance

Article excerpt

One way to improve drug adherence is to ask patients if they have skipped or cut down on their prescribed medications because of cost, said Dr. Ethan A. Halm of the department of health policy at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

The underuse of medicine due to cost is a more common reason for poor disease control than is appreciated, Dr. Halm said. Dr. Halm and his colleagues recently published a study based on an educational invention aimed at raising awareness among physicians about how much their patients pay for drugs (J. Gen. Intern. Med. 18[1]:31-37, 2003).

To learn more about the impact of out-of-pocket drug costs on patient compliance, Dr. Halm and his colleagues gave internal medicine house officers and attending physicians at four teaching hospitals in New York City and northern New Jersey a pocket guide with the average wholesale prices for more than 100 drugs commonly used in primary care. They also hosted lunchtime conferences to educate participating health providers on issues that can occur when patients can't afford to take their medicines. …

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