American Heart Association issues statement on new CDC medication adherence report
According to the report, many Americans do not take their prescriptions for a variety of reasons -- financial as well as personal.
“This new CDC report confirms what we have known for some time: while access and affordability have an impact on whether Americans take their high blood pressure medications, there are many other reasons that patients don’t take their prescriptions,” AHA President Dr. Steven Houser said. “As a result, and as this report notes, only about half of Americans with high blood pressure currently have it under control. Of the 18.5 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries who use blood pressure medicine, 4.9 million were non-adherent to their regimen. Skipping their medications sets these individuals up for more health hazards and worse health outcomes. This is particularly disturbing because hypertension remains a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the number-one and number-five killers of Americans, respectively.”
Because of the range of reasons that the report cites for non-adherence to medications, it is challenging for health leaders to develop a solution.
“As the report highlights, the variety and complexity of barriers -- not to mention the potential combination of these barriers -- means no single solution will close this adherence gap,” Houser said. “Consequently, our association supports taking a multifaceted approach. Policies should be put in place that tackle established reasons for non-adherence, while taking into account the racial-ethnic groups, states and geographic variations identified in the report.”
The AHA has stated that it will research new information in an effort to find long-term solutions for this health concern.