hEALThCARE COUNCIL ON AGING - ORANGE COUNTY America's Other Drug Problem n Bill Liu, PharmD., CGP C. Everett Koop M.D. U.S. Surgeon General (19821989) once said, "Drugs don't work in patients who don't take them." Dr. Koop was responding to the growing problem of patients who do not take their medication as prescribed. Some examples of medication non-compliance include: n Failing to fill or refill prescriptions n Failing to take medicine as instructed n Taking more or less medication than prescribed n Taking other people's prescribed medicines Not taking medications as prescribed can have serious consequences. The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) once reported that non-compliant medication taking behavior accounts for up to 10% of hospital admissions and 40% of admissions to nursing homes. 48 Answers Guide 2015 A frequent reason given by patients who do not take their medicines as prescribed is that they do not feel any different when they do or do not take them. What these people do not realize is that many chronic diseases are "silent." There are no symptoms to be felt. Your prescribed medications are designed to continue managing your condition - another important reason to keep your doctors' appointments so that your doctors can continue to monitor you and your chronic disease. Some patients are not compliant because they only take their medicines when they remember them. Filling and using weekly or monthly pillboxes can sometimes correct this pattern of behavior. Such aids as hanging signs that say, "TAKE YOUR MEDICINE" in strategic locations throughout the house and marking a calendar with a "YES" afterwards can improve compliance. One creative couple developed COUNCIl ON AGING - ORANGe COUNTY IS A 501 (C)3 NONpROFIT CORpORATION. TO DISTRIbUTe ANSweRS FRee OF COST, we mUST Sell ADveRTISING SpACe. wHIle we AppReCIATe THe pAID lISTINGS IN ANSweRS, THeIR Aging and Disability Resource Connection | 800-510-2020 | www.adrcoc.org INClUSION does not imply a recommendation or endorsement of products or services by coaoc. AlwAYS be A vIGIlANT CONSUmeR. veRIFY INFORmATION AND SeeK ReFeReNCeS wHeRe AppROpRIATe.