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Drs. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of the popular TV show “The Dr. Oz Show.” He is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mike Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, an award-winning author, and has been the doctor to eight Nobel Prize winners and more than 100 Fortune 500 CEOs.

Dr. Mehmet Oz,Dr. Mike Roizen

Tags: drugs | meds | prescriptions

Thousands Die Because They Don't Take Their Meds

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:57 AM EDT

The patients on the TV show "Scrubs" might refuse treatment for reasons that are philosophical (the right to die without being poked at) or wacky (not by a male nurse), but in the real world, people often refuse to take medications for reasons that baffle us. Overall, 40 percent to 70 percent of people don't follow their prescribed medication regimen, and more than 20 percent of new prescriptions go unfilled, even when the meds are free. These often are life-or-death medications: 26 percent of the first prescriptions for insulin and at least 20 percent for oral diabetes medications are left behind the pharmacy counter. The result? Uncontrolled blood sugar levels that lead to heart, kidney, nerve, vascular and eye damage. Thirty percent of antihypertensive prescriptions also go unfilled; more than half of those who do fill them stop taking the meds as directed within a year.

We're on a campaign to help you take better care and figure out WHY you're not taking your meds.

-If it's financial, ask your doctor and pharmacist about low-price generic alternatives, and check out pharmaceutical companies' patient-support programs.

-If side effects bother you, there may be other drugs or dose adjustments that eliminate the problems. Ask your doc about options.

-Forgetful? Put meds in containers divided by days of the week and times of the day. Ask family and friends for assistance. Download an app with text reminders or alarms.

More than 125,000 people in North American die every year because they didn't follow their medication regimen, and even more are hospitalized. Let's bring those numbers down to ZERO.

© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© HealthDay

Many people die because they don't take their prescription medications.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:57 AM
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