Adherence and health care costs

Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2014 Feb 20;7:35-44. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S19801. eCollection 2014.


Medication nonadherence is an important public health consideration, affecting health outcomes and overall health care costs. This review considers the most recent developments in adherence research with a focus on the impact of medication adherence on health care costs in the US health system. We describe the magnitude of the nonadherence problem and related costs, with an extensive discussion of the mechanisms underlying the impact of nonadherence on costs. Specifically, we summarize the impact of nonadherence on health care costs in several chronic diseases, such as diabetes and asthma. A brief analysis of existing research study designs, along with suggestions for future research focus, is provided. Finally, given the ongoing changes in the US health care system, we also address some of the most relevant and current trends in health care, including pharmacist-led medication therapy management and electronic (e)-prescribing.

Keywords: adherence; compliance; cost; medication; nonadherence; noncompliance; patient.

Publication types

  • Review