Study Finds Large Numbers of Prescriptions Never Filled

by Toby Roberts on February 19, 2010

A Massachusetts study recently found that 22 to 28 percent of medication prescriptions go unfilled by patients. The study examined electronic prescription records in two heath plans as well as pharmacy claims to check which prescriptions were filled. All patients in the study did have medical insurance.

The findings noted that 22 percent of the total of all the prescriptions went unfilled. When narrowed to only include brand new prescriptions 28 percent went unfilled. The most likely to not be picked up were pain medications with medications for chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol also having high unfilled rates.

Researchers suggest that despite health care insurance the high cost of co-pays or out of plan prescriptions might be a problem. Others may not be filling prescriptions for chronic conditions if they don’t have outward symptoms and are not clear about the function of the medication. Researchers suggest that doctors and pharmacists work together to clearly educate patients about the need for beginning and continuing medication for chronic conditions.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61G3QX20100217

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