Cost of Non-adherence to Chronic Medications

Mar 28, 2012

The Cost of Non-adherence to Chronic Medications: A Closer Look at the Costs Associated with Diabetes, Hypertension, and Dyslipidemia. Published in American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.


Objectives: To develop a methodology to estimate the national and state-level annual cost associated with nonadherence to medications for diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

Study Design: Economic cost model.

Methods: A review of factors impacting the cost of nonadherence was undertaken. Based on the factors identified in the review, a methodology incorporating information about national and state estimates of current nonadherence rates, health insurance status, disease prevalence and comorbidity, and per patient disease-specific adherence-related cost savings was used to estimate the total and per adult national and state-level direct cost of nonadherence in diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

Results: The total direct national cost of nonadherence for adults diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia was $105.8 billion, or an average of $453 per adult, in 2010. The average per adult nonadherence cost by state was found to vary from $284 to $634.

Conclusions: In the absence of a directly measured national cost of nonadherence across multiple disease states, this estimate updates and refines the methodology used to derive indirect estimates. Using a systematic and transparent approach based on information from standard national and state-level data sources, we demonstrate that nonadherence has a significant direct cost in 3 chronic conditions where medication plays an important part in therapy.