On October 24-25th, PatientsLikeMe attended the 8th Annual Patient Adherence, Communication and Engagement (PACE) Conference in Philadelphia. The event focused on how the healthcare industry can deliver measurable improvements in patient adherence (i.e., taking medications as prescribed by your doctor). Put simply, how can we help patients like you take the correct dosages at the correct times?
Why does this topic merit its own conference? Well, as we learned at PACE, medication non-adherence costs more than $300 billion every year in the US alone. You read that right. And this staggering amount is comprised of more than just hospitalization and emergency room costs. It also includes things like lost employee productivity and the cost for less optimal patient outcomes. Essentially, think of it as $300 billion the US could be saving each year – but currently is spending – in the midst of an economic downturn.
Here are some of the other noteworthy takeaways:
- Of that $300 billion, more than $100 billion is concentrated in four cardio-metabolic disorders: diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease.
- A key factor in non-adherence is that patients may frequently have an incorrect understanding or an unrealistic expectation from their doctor of what their medications will do for them.
- Recently passed US legislation is attempting to change the way doctors are paid. The new law provides financial incentives for health plans to implement quality measures that hold doctors accountable for impacting patient outcomes.
- Many new solutions, such as telemedicine and the patient-centered medical home, are being piloted and studied. The goal is to learn how technology can impact patient outcomes via medication adherence services and remote medical care.
- To remain relevant to patients, biopharmaceutical companies now recognize that they must incorporate the voice and experience of the patient into their decision-making processes.
Last but not least, our very own Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development David S. Williams III spoke about the work PatientsLikeMe is doing around medication adherence. Specifically, he focused on patient-to-patient interaction as an influential driver of medication adherence and how we can give patients the tools they need to (1) understand how their medication is working for them and (2) hold each other accountable for following their doctors’ instructions.
Do you believe connecting with – and learning from – other patients is critical to adherence? Share your thoughts in the comments section.