UC Pharmacy Students Advocate for Prescription Medicine Adherence


Three out of four people do not take their medication as directed, and one out of three people never fill their prescriptions, according to the national medication adherence campaign Script Your Future. Health professional students, including pharmacy students from the University of Charleston, are trying to increase awareness about the issue.

Over the past two months, the UC pharmacy students have held 23 Script Your Future events. These include alternative spring break trips, seminars on yoga for disease management, healthy meal planning for disease management, and a Run for Women’s Health 5k. This is the fourth year UC pharmacy school students have participated in the campaign.

According to MeilssaBuse, a fourth year UC pharmacy student, There are main four reasons people don’t take medications as prescribed, says fourth-year UC pharmacy student Melissa Buse: (1) they don’t understand how medication works; (2) they’re worried about side effects; (3) they can’t afford prescriptions; and (4) they forget to take their medications.

Yet non-adherence is dangerous and costly. Approximately 290 billion dollars are spent each year in avoidable healthcare costs related to medication non-adherence (i.e., emergency department visits, hospitalizations and pharmacy costs), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Research published late last year for the national Script Your Future campaign found that improved communication between patients and healthcare providers does lead to more patients taking prescribed medications as directed.  

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.