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The majority of Americans do not take medications as prescribed by their physicians for a variety of reasons including cost, routines, and understanding of treatment. As a result, conditions can worsen and lead to complications quickly deteriorating health. A recent study of glaucoma patients indicated that prescribing generic eye drops instead of costly brand name glaucoma eye drops encouraged patient compliance. It is possible that this understanding may lead to enhanced compliance for patients with other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and affects 2.7 million Americans over the age of 40 and over 64 million individuals worldwide. After reviewing cases involving over 8,400 patients, it was found that those switched to generic glaucoma eye drops were more likely to follow treatment regimens. In fact, the difference between those that complied with regular eye drop administration increased from roughly 40% of patients to over 60% of patients. The switch to generic glaucoma eye drops saved the average patient $1,300 per year which is thought to be a major driver of compliance for a subset of patients.
Overall, researchers have found that if costs for treatment were lower, patients would be more likely to comply with medication recommendations. This finding could have a significant positive affect on patient adherence to treatment and reduce the risks associated with many conditions.