The depressed U.S. economy is producing some potentially dangerous choices regarding prescription drug use. In a Consumer Reports survey of 1,226 consumers, 48% said they didn’t fill prescriptions, took less medicine than prescribed or failed to undergo a medical test advised by their doctor. In the survey, 16% didn’t fill prescriptions, 13% took an expired drug, 12% skipped doses, 8% cut pills in half and took 50% of the prescribed dose, and 4% shared their prescription drugs with someone else.
This failure to adhere to prescribed drug therapy places disease management in great jeopardy. The value of a proper, and often expensive, medical diagnosis is diminished if individuals do not take the drug(s) that will cure or manage their disease(s). Failure to take prescribed drug therapy is one of the greatest health care mistakes a patient can make.
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