Research Article

Improving Medication Adherence

Did you know there’s a way to save $300 billion in unnecessary medical costs each year? And that this solution could save tens of thousands of lives annually, maybe even yours?

Taking medications as prescribed (also called “medication adherence”) is one of the most effective ways to fight chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.  Yet countless Americans don’t follow their treatment plans, resulting in declining health, preventable deaths and billions in wasted health care resources.

There are many reasons people aren’t adherent to their medications – some face financial barriers, while others are troubled by their medication’s side effects. Still others may not understand how (or why) to take their medication. 

Countless Americans don’t take their medications as prescribed, impacting thousands of lives and driving billions of dollars in unnecessary costs. CVS Health is creating solutions that can help.


Staying On Track

No matter what the reason, it’s clear that prescription non-adherence is a real problem. But we’re working to change that with tools and programs that educate, remind and encourage patients to stay on track with their medications. These include:

  • Prescription synchronization – Patients can fill all medications with fewer trips to the pharmacy

  • Multi-dose/new packaging options – We help patients organize their medications to reduce dosing complexity

  • Medication review – Our pharmacists review complex medication regimens to help prevent major drug-related events

  • Retail interventions – Targeted messaging at the pharmacy counter informs and engages patients in their care

  • Digital tools – Our suite of digital offerings integrates adherence support into daily life

  • Home adherence devices – Simple devices remind patients to take their medication on time

In addition to these programs, we’re working to improve medication adherence through research. We partner with health care leader Brigham and Women’s Hospital to conduct studies on how adherence can improve outcomes and save money. What we learn broadens our understanding of the problem and shapes future patient interventions and offerings. If you’d like to know more about our findings, we invite you to explore the links to research and resources on this page.