- Medication non-adherence is pervasive and costly, with annual cost estimates totaling $290 billion and €1.25 billion in the US and Europe.
- Poor adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is associated with worse outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, hospitalization and recurrent cardiovascular events.
Pharmacological treatments represent a significant opportunity area.
Medication adherence is a key factor for the effectiveness of pharmacological therapies, particularly for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.1 Cardiovascular diseases are a global problem, and more than 80% of cardiovascular disease deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.2 There is significant evidence demonstrating that pharmacological treatments improve cardiovascular outcomes, including reduced risk of costly acute events such as myocardial infarction, stroke and hospitalization.1 Nevertheless, non-adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is pervasive.3
Treatment non-adherence is a global issue driving negative outcomes and increased costs.
Non-adherence to medications is associated with negative outcomes, including medical and psychosocial disease complications, reduced quality of life, and wasted healthcare resources.3
The magnitude of costs associated with non-adherence is staggering: annual cost estimates for the US and Europe total $290 billion and €1.25 billion, respectively.4 In the UK, non-adherence is believed to cost the NHS more than £500 million per year.5 Studies in the US indicate that medication non-adherence is the cause of 10% of hospitalizations and 23% of nursing home admissions in older adults, with the typical non-adherent patient requiring three extra medical visits per year and generating an additional $2000 in treatment costs per annum.4,6
Specific information on non-adherence in developing countries is not available; however, given that secondary prevention medicines are often difficult to access and afford in many of these countries, non-adherence trends, and thus healthcare utilization and cost, can reasonably be expected to be worse.2
Improving adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments would reduce disease costs.
Adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is in line with global trends in other pathologies, and is estimated to be approximately 50%.9 Poor adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is associated with worse outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, hospitalization or recurrent cardiovascular events.7 According to one estimate, 125 000 avoidable deaths occur each year due to poor adherence to cardiovascular disease treatment.6 Regarding costs, one study showed that patients who were nonadherent to statins had total healthcare costs as high as $900 more and an increased likelihood of a related hospitalization compared to adherent patients.8 Likewise, adherence to statins has been shown to lower total healthcare costs, with increased medication costs offset by lower medical costs and lower risk of hospitalization.9 According to one estimate, improving patient adherence to statins in the U.S. could save the healthcare system more than $3 billion each year.8