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Study shows income is not a primary factor in medication adherence

October 19, 2017

Researchers in this study did not look at reasons why the executives did or didn't follow their doctor's orders, but past research on the topic suggests cost is a factor. However, this study population was predominately white male and more highly educated and compensated than more than the average person.

"Many people think cost is the main reason for medication non-adherence but this doesn't appear true since these people have relatively high salaries," said Schultz.

Using statins could actually save money. Previous research on the effectiveness of statin use in a population at high risk for cardiovascular disease found that a health plan with 210,000 covered lives and 9,336 at-risk employees could yield a $1,735 reduction in costs per treated patient.

So what can employers do? Make sure statins are a covered benefit, said Schultz. Do screening to identify at-risk employees. Partner with health care and pharmacy providers to address reasons for poor medication adherence.

Source: University of Michigan