Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Jun;4(3):191-5.

Medication non-adherence and asthma treatment cost.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.



The purpose of this review is to describe the impact of asthma treatment non-adherence on patients and the healthcare system, and to outline areas of responsibility towards improved adherence.


The average cost of healthcare expenses for each person in the United States in 2002 was 5440 US dollars. In that year, there were 800 million medical encounters. However, adherence research suggests that a significant portion of the healthcare advice and prescriptions dispensed in these encounters was wasted. The annual cost to the healthcare system caused by non-adherence has been estimated at 300 billion US dollars. The responsibility for improving adherence has usually been placed on the patient and healthcare provider. However, if non-adherence is to be more effectively addressed, other components of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries must also take responsibility.


Treatment non-adherence compromises treatment effectiveness and drives up the healthcare costs related to asthma and other chronic conditions. Collaborative efforts to improve adherence to treatments for chronic illness, recently promoted by the World Health Organization, must include multiple components of the healthcare system, must recognize that the costs of adherence promotion are outweighed by cost savings after improved adherence, and must support research to develop new and better strategies for improving adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Support Center