Retail pharmacy should be applauded for emphasizing medication adherence

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The fact that CVS Caremark convened its first-ever national forum in an effort to battle the $300 billion problem of medication nonadherence is important on several fronts, including the simple fact that retail pharmacy deserves credit for more effectively communicating what adherence is and why it's important.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark convenes first-ever national forum on nonadherence. For the full story, click here.)

Such efforts as this forum — which uncoincidentally was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. — are an important reason why consumer awareness is rising on the importance of adherence. So are such programs as the Script Your Future campaign, which kicked off May 23 in Providence, R.I.

As reported by Drug Store News, Elizabeth Roberts, lieutenant governor of the state of Rhode Island, together with the National Consumers League launched Script Your Future in Providence to raise awareness among patients about the health consequences of not taking medication as directed. CVS Caremark, a national partner in the Script Your Future campaign, is headquartered in Rhode Island and participated in the Providence launch, which is 1-of-6 regional city markets where the campaign will pilot activities, research and advertising.

Both the forum and the campaign launch were offered online as a webcast, making it yet one more indication of the effort to spread the word and raise awareness on the vexing issue of nonadherence.

Nonadherence is not only a $300 billion a year drain on the U.S. healthcare system, but the stark reality is that it also is a matter of life and death. More than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and nearly 125,000 deaths in the United States each year are due to people not taking their medicines as directed.