Pill color matters to patients
Changes in the appearance of a drug may be confusing patients, according to a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The research found that patients were 50 percent more likely to stop taking a generic medication if it was a different color than the brand-name drug. Apparently, color of the drug does matter.
Generic medications account for an estimated 70 percent of all prescriptions filled in the U.S., and while some generics look very similar to their brand-name "cousins," others may not. And this fact appears to be causing confusion among those who need the prescription medications. In the study of over 11,400 patients who had not refilled prescriptions, researchers found that refills dropped 27 percent when the pill changed color.
Annually, the United States health care system loses $290 billion to non-adherence – when a patient does not take a prescribed medication – meaning the future of health care could be riding on something as simple as the color of pills.