Nearly two-thirds of Americans who take prescription medications are non-compliant to their regimen. This is a two pronged issue: 20-30% of prescriptions are never filled and 50% of those who do fill the prescription do not take the medication as prescribed. It is clear that strategies are needed to improve medication management among the entire patient population, especially the most vulnerable ones.
Caring for chronic medical conditions requires successful management of multiple prescription medications. Although successful medication-taking is rooted in a number of social, economic, medical, and behavioral factors, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that limited understanding of medication information contributes to poor adherence and outcomes.
A team of doctors and medical experts tested the effects of providing illustrated, plain-language medication lists on medication understanding, adherence, and satisfaction among Latino patients with diabetes in a safety net clinic. The study was performed using an innovative platform called PictureRx, a medication adherence program that is web based and has been robustly studied to increase adherence and understanding through an intuitive easy to use, patent pending, pill card design.
The medication understading study –carried out by Arun Mohan, MD, MBA; M. Brian Riley, MA; Brian Schmotzer, MS; Dane R. Boyington, PhD; and Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc– concluded that patients who received illustrated, plain-language medication lists demonstrated significantly greater understanding of their medication regimen. Such tools, like PictureRx, have the potential to improve medication use and chronic disease control, as well as reduce health disparities.
To read the online publication and access the full study, please click here.