There’s no doubt about it: Many drug prices have skyrocketed in recent years. But adding to that cost and often underestimated: Nonoptimized medications, that is, drugs that are not taken as prescribed or not prescribed at the right dose or for the right condition.
A new analysis in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy estimates that illness and death resulting from nonoptimized medication treatment cost about $528.4 billion each year in the United States – 16 percent of the total spent on U.S. health care in 2016. Nonoptimization also includes cases in which medication taken as prescribed causes additional medical problems, including serious reactions.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California San Diego and the Laboratory Corporation of America in Clarksville, Tennessee.