WOONSOCKET, R.I. — There are many reasons people say they do not take their medications, but being busy or simply forgetting top the list, according to a new study from CVS Caremark Corp.
The study found that nearly three in 10 (28%) sometimes forget to refill their prescriptions on time, despite the fact that most (86%) believe they can stick to a daily medication schedule. In addition, more than half (52%) say it would be useful if their pharmacy would remind them when it’s time for a refill.
To address this need, CVS Caremark has implemented ReadyFill, a free program that allows customers to sign up to have their maintenance prescriptions filled automatically, and receive a phone call from CVS to remind them that their medication is ready to be picked up.
The 2009 CVS Caremark Health IQ Study, which examined attitudes and behaviors around health care and prescription usage, found additional reasons why consumers may not be taking their medications, as well as challenges to their filling prescriptions on time:
• Many (43%) admit to simply having forgotten, on occasion, to take their medications.
• More than a fifth (21%) of women take five or more prescriptions each month.
• Nearly half of women (47%) say they are more likely to forget to take their own medications than they are to forget to give medication to another family member.
• One-third (34%) of all respondents say they sometimes stop taking their medications if they feel worse while taking them.
• One-fourth (26%) sometimes stop taking their medications if they feel better.
• Some consumers (21%) admit to being careless about taking their drugs as prescribed.
• Younger consumers (ages 20 to 34) are more likely than others to report not taking their medications.
“Patients should talk to their pharmacist about the best way to manage prescriptions, and simple tools like ReadyFill can help,” says Papatya Tankut, vice president of pharmacy professional services at CVS Caremark. “Skipping medications for any reason can be risky.”
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