A Broader Perspective

Man looking at bottles from medicine cabinetMedication non-adherence gets a lot of attention – and for good reason since non-adherence contributes to unfavorable patient outcomes, unnecessary hospitalizations, and even patient mortality – yet non-adherence is not the only important medication issue deserving attention from the health care team. In fact, some experts now suggest that medication non-adherence is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems related to medication usage in patients.

The bigger issue when it comes to medication-related problems, according to Todd Sorensen, Pharm.D. and fellow researchers from the University of Minnesota who are leading this new way to thinking, is that many patients are prescribed a dosage that is too low to bring about a desired outcome or when a patient would benefit from additional medication therapy.

Dr. Sorenson contends that looking at this broader picture would move us closer to the “triple aim” of healthcare: improved health of the patient, a better care experience, and lower costs.


Brummel AR, Sorensen TD, Pestka DL, et al. Seeing the forest through the trees: improving adherence alone will not optimize medication use. JMCP 2016;22(5):598-604.

Vora P. Medication adherence is a problem, but not the only problem. AMJC.com May 13, 2016.

Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy



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