Medication Adherence - The $564 Billion Dollar Problem

We live in a time where chronic diseases or illnesses do not necessarily have to lead to constant, crippling pain or ill fates. Through groundbreaking advancements in medical technology, we now have the option to manage our own wellbeing through properly prescribed health regimens.The problem is that when we don’t follow the doctor’s orders (like forgetting to take the medication or taking incorrect doses), we get in the way of good health. This non-compliance – coined medication non-adherence - is costly: the global pharmaceutical industry is estimated to lose $564 billion a year because of it.

While some may feel that the pharmaceutical industry’s loss is not their own, the truth is that the massive figure implies there are millions of people who are not taking care of their own health. It speaks to a greater negative impact on overall societal health and happiness.


  • We don’t receive the full benefits of treatment and can even exacerbate our condition
  • We can be burdened further by increased health care costs and other unnecessary financial costs
  • In emerging markets where hospitals already have limited resources, incoming patients can further strain the health care provider’s ability to provide quality care to everyone
  • Medical researchers who study the value of the medication lose important data points that can lead to other patients’ positive health outcomes



It may be easy to believe that medical non-adherence is caused by stubborn people who refuse to take their medicine. But it’s not that simple. Many patients who fail to properly take their medication are older, may be unable to care for themselves independently, do not understand how to comply, or are unable to pay for the cost of treatment. There are a myriad of reasons and increasingly complex cultural or economical circumstances that can exacerbate the issue.


In emerging markets, lack of data and limited access to quality health care providers also contribute to increasing non-adherence problems.

To address this issue, we identified a solution for pharmaceutical companies to help patients stick to their regimen while still ensuring patient privacy (you can email us at for more information). Through understanding purchasing trends on an individual level and being proactive, pharmaceutical companies can empower their patients and their loved ones to lead healthier and happier lives.

While medical non-adherence may not have a silver bullet solution or ever truly become solved, the health care industry must continue its mission and make strides to improve global heath.

Why do you think patients don't adhere to their medicine?

What do you think stakeholders should do to help them?