Issue Brief 13: Medication Adherence

Access to medically necessary healthcare—including prescription medications—is critical for successful patient outcomes, yet patients’ access to care and treatment are often impeded or blocked entirely by high deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

These out-of-pocket costs hit low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities especially hard, and are a key reason why many Medicare beneficiaries do not initiate or adhere to treatment.

However, other factors also play a role in preventing people from adhering to the medications prescribed by their healthcare providers. This issue brief examines why some patients do not adhere to their prescription medications, how non-adherence impacts these patients, and strategies that have been proposed to improve medication adherence.