Wise medication use could save about $213 billion a year, as well as improve patient care and treatment outcomes. Newsday reports:
If doctors and patients used prescription drugs more wisely, it could save the U.S. health care system about $213 billion a year, by reducing medication overuse, underuse and other flaws in care that cause complications and longer, more-expensive treatments, researchers conclude.
The new findings by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics improve on numerous prior efforts to quantify the dollars wasted on health care.
Numerous experts have estimated tens of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars, could be better used each year to improve patient care and outcomes and to slow down spending by government health programs, insurers and consumers.
The institute, part of data analysis and consulting firm IMS Health, used proprietary data on prescriptions written by doctors -- many of which patients never fill -- plus other information to produce a current, more reliable estimate of avoidable costs solely related to medication use.
IMS arrived at the $213 billion figure based on six categories in which doctors, patients or both could be making better use of medication, from getting a prompt diagnosis when new symptoms arise to taking medicines as directed by the doctor.
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