Posted on July 29, 2013

Media Contact: 
Nick King, NEHI


NEHI Calls for Six “Priorities for Action” to Achieve Better Medication Use

BOSTON, MA (July 26, 2013)- The health policy institute NEHI today released a national medication adherence agenda centered on six priorities for action for public and private policymakers to improve the way patients take their prescription medicines across the US.

Poor medication adherence is a major drain on both health and health care resources, costing some $290 billion annually, according to 2009 research by NEHI. Underscoring the benefits of improving adherence, the Congressional Budget Office last year said that a 5 percent increase in the number of prescriptions used by Medicare patients would result in a 1 percent decrease in their medical and hospital spending.

In its new report, NEHI says that the growing attention to fixing the adherence problem has created an opportunity for policymakers to rally behind a comprehensive, system-wide solution to poor adherence, including:

  • Promoting sharing of best practices and lessons learned from pilots of new medication management techniques
  • Supporting large-scale implementation of promising, evidence-based “tactics” for improved medication management
  • Continuing development of metrics of medication use to spur adoption of proven medication management strategies
  • Accelerating adoption of electronic prescribing and electronic medical records that support evidence-based interventions for improved adherence
  • Improving Medication Therapy Management services in Medicare Part D
  • Integrating medication adherence research, policy development and advocacy with broader efforts that aim to improve use of medicines, including those focused on patient safety

“There are many reasons to be optimistic that patient medication adherence can be improved,” said Tom Hubbard, NEHI’s Vice President of Policy Research and author of the new report. “These six priorities for action provide both a vision and an agenda to get there.”

NEHI has been at the forefront of identifying new ways to curb non-adherence with its “Thinking Outside the Pillbox” series, including a 2009 report on a system-wide strategy for improving adherence for chronic disease patients, its 2011 “Medication Adherence Roadmap” and its 2012 report “Improving Medication Adherence and Reducing Readmissions.” Details of the six new policy recommendations can be found in the report, “Six Priorities for Action to Support Patient Medication Adherence”, now available on the NEHI website,


About NEHI 
NEHI is a national health policy institute focused on enabling innovation to improve health care quality and lower health care costs. In partnership with members from all across the health care system, NEHI conducts evidence-based research and stimulates policy change to improve the quality and the value of health care. Together with this unparalleled network of committed health care leaders, NEHI brings an objective, collaborative and fresh voice to health policy. For more information, visit for follow us @NEHI_News.

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