Medication Underuse


Medical costs are exploding due to a lack of pricing regulation over the pharmaceutical industry. These high costs of medications are leading patients to seek other means of affordability. Choices that patients are forced into often lead to non-compliance medication regiment. We see the patient not taking their medication due to financial concerns. Some are choosing to skip dosages, cutting pills in half, to go with out food, with hold paying household bills, to not buying them at all so their spouse who is also on medication could buy theirs. This is not an error such as misreading an order, giving the wrong dose or ordering the wrong drug, however it has the same effect in that it is leading to a deterioration of the patient as a whole due to deviation from the plan. Some patients have turned to out of the country purchasing of medications, others to business that buy in gross, over the internet manufactures and some through local grocery store / pharmacy options. There are some warnings that have raised questions whether these medications are tainted, legally accepted by the FDA, are homeopathic substitutions to the prescribed medications which leads to concern and question of side effect they may cause. Resources with in the community and government system are generally available. Unfortunately they often require patients to undertake lengthy processes to get help. Outreach calls to patients usually help identify where social support is needed. Our goal is to aid in giving the patient the best resources so they can have the medication they need. As a nurse I feel we need to be an advocator, a communicator between physician and patient and an educator for the best care for the patient. This includes listening to our patients, hearing if they should choose not to take the treatment ordered and providing them with reasonable options.

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