Are You Taking Medicine As Prescribed?

Nine out of 10 upstate New York adults believe that taking medications as prescribed is “very important” or “extremely important,” yet four out of 10 missed one or more doses of medications they were prescribed, according to a survey commissioned by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.


According to a 2019 survey of upstate New York adults commissioned by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, 9 out of 10 upstate New York adults believe that taking medications as prescribed is “very important” or “extremely important”, yet 4 out of 10 do not take their medication as prescribed.

  • According to the American Heart Association
    • An estimated 3 out of 4 Americans don’t take their medication as directed
    • Poor medication adherence takes the lives of 125,000 Americans annually and results in $300 billion a year in additional health care spending

It may seem like a small misstep to not take medication correctly, but the repercussions of not taking medication as directed can be severe. Taking your medication as directed helps you avoid illness and hospital stays.

  • Methods used to help take medication as prescribed
    • Fit into daily routine
    • Pill box/Alarm Clocks
    • Participate in pharmacy refill program
    • Spouse/partner/family member reminders
    • Reminder app on phone
    • Plan ahead for changes in daily routine
    • Keep a medication diary
    • Use home delivery for prescription drugs
    • Ask your pharmacy to organize medications in blister packaging, labeling them with “what to take, and when”

Although everyone who is on a medication should take it exactly how it is prescribed to them there are reasons for poor adherence.

If you have trouble taking your medication as directed, determine the reason(s) why. Talk with your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions about your medications. He or she can help you find solutions.

  • Reasons for poor medication adherence
    • They forget
    • Don’t have medications with them
    • Cost issues
    • Believe it’s not important to take every time
    • Don’t like the side effects
    • They’re feeling better and don’t feel they need it

When medications are taken as directed; health outcomes are improved, chronic conditions are successfully managed, precious health care dollars are used effectively and lives are saved.