The U.S. healthcare system incurs more than $200 billion in avoidable costs every year, and much of this staggering number is attributed to prescription abandonment and non-adherence to recommended drug therapies.1 Simply put, patients who do not fill their prescriptions cannot take the medications as prescribed by their doctor. Ultimately, patients stop taking a medication when the difficulties they encounter outweigh the perceived benefits —in other words, when the medication is no longer worth the hassle. Quantifying the individual hassles that patients face, as well as general trends, can help explain – and hopefully address — abandonment.
Zitter’s Abandonment Insight Monitor (AIM) includes a Hassle Factor tool designed to quantify patients’ struggles with their medication by using patient-rated difficulty scores that are weighted by importance. Patients are asked to rate the difficulty of their experience with five factors—obtaining their medication, managing side effects, paying for the medication, administering their medication, and fitting administration into their schedules. Higher numbers reflect a greater hassle, so higher hassle factor scores thus indicate a greater likelihood that a patient may abandon the medication
Abandonment Insight Monitor research found that the Hassle Factor varies considerably between drug brands, within each disease category, and across therapeutic areas. AIM researched the average hassle factor of Psoriasis (PSO), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Type 1 Diabetes, and Type 2 Diabetes. PSO patients perceive their medication to be the biggest hassle, with an average score significantly higher than the scores for the other disease states (see chart for more details).
Patients typically rate getting their medication, managing side effects, and paying for the medication as the biggest hassles. While patients with Diabetes, MS, and RA found only two of these factors to be particularly difficult and important, PSO patients found all three to be a large hassle, which contributed to its overall high score.
For example, MS patients thought that side effects and paying were both difficult and important, but did not find actually getting the medication to be as troublesome. Meanwhile, Type 1 Diabetes patients found paying for and getting the medication to be a large hassle, but did not struggle nearly as much with side effects. PSO patients experienced a hassle similar to the other diseases when it came to administration and fitting administration into their schedules, but also registered a great hassle with all three of the remaining factors.
How does your drug compare on Hassle Factor? Contact us to learn more.
1 “Study finds $200 billion in avoidable health care costs.” American Pharmacists Association, 2013.