- Medication non-adherence is pervasive and costly; available cost estimates for developed countries total $290 billion in the U.S. and €1.25 billion in Europe each year
- Poor adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is a driver of worse outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, hospitalization, and recurrent events
Pharmacological treatments represent a significant opportunity area.
Medication adherence is a key determinant of the effectiveness of pharmacological therapies, including for patients with 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 Pharmacological treatments can dramatically 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.
The magnitude of costs associated with non-adherence is staggering: non-adherence is responsible for $290 billion in annual healthcare costs in the U.S. and at least €1.25 billion in Europe.4 In the UK, non-adherence costs the NHS more than £500 million per year.5 Studies in the U.S. indicate that medication non-adherence is the cause of 10% of hospitalizations and 23% of nursing home admissions among older adults, with the typical patient who is nonadherent requiring three extra medical visits per year and an additional $2,000 in treatment costs per annum.4,6 Given that secondary prevention medicines are often difficult to access and afford in many developing countries, non-adherence rates and their associated consequences in terms of healthcare costs are almost certainly worse.2
Improving adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments would reduce disease costs.
Adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is estimated to be comparable to the global rate of 50% for chronic therapies.7,9 Poor adherence to cardiovascular disease treatments is a major cause of worse outcomes, including increased risk of mortality, hospitalization or recurrent cardiovascular events.7 According to one estimate, 125,000 avoidable deaths occur each year in the U.S. 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 patients who adhered to recommendations.8 Likewise, adherence to statins has been shown to lower total healthcare costs, with increased medication costs offset by lower costs for ambulatory care and 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