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June 15, 2010
Paying People to Take Their Medications
Now here's an idea to think about: improving patient compliance for their prescriptions by paying them to stay on track. The article goes into some of the benefits and potential risks - for example, some people will deliberately act like noncompliers in order to get on the pay system.
But in general, lack of compliance in taking prescribed drugs is a pretty big problem. And fixing it takes more than exhortations or appeals to one's better nature:
“We’ve made our best efforts to say, ‘If you didn’t take your beta blocker or asthma medicine, you have a greater chance of ending up with a heart attack or dead or hospitalized,’ ” said Dr. Lonny Reisman, Aetna’s chief medical officer. “It’s going to take more. It’s going to take incentives.”
I'm just glad that the insurance companies are taking the lead on this one. I can imagine the press a drug company would get for suggesting it.
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