5 Types of People Who are Wasting $163 Billion a Year in Health Care Costs

There are five groups of prescription drug users who are wasting $163 Billion a year. Here’s how it adds up:

$106 Billion Wasted Annually though Patient Nonadherence with Medication

$51 Billion Wasted Annually on Poor Drug Mix

$6 Billion Wasted Annually by Patients Who Choose Retail Over Home Delivery

Express Scripts is out with a very cool report analyzing drug spending trends which helps us see who is wasting all this money:

5. The Active Decliner

This is the patient who says she feels fine most of the time and questions whether taking her medication is really necessary. We like to call these people the Google MDs because they think finding info on Google is good enough to start acting like their own doctor. This may be the case for minor issues, but if someone has a script which alters the chemical composition of his or her body, that person needs to speak with a professional in either holistic or Western medicine. When they don’t it costs everyone money.

4. The Refill Procrastinator

This is the patient who gets distracted, runs out of time, and fails to refill his prescription before the medicine runs out. Basically, they have their priorities out of sync. Unfortunately, while these people are too busy taking care of things other than their health, some of them get sick and require more costly care. Thank goodness most people get a call from their pharmacy as a reminder.

3. The Sporadic Forgetter

This is the patient who remembers to take her medications during the week, but gets off schedule on the weekends and simply forgets. Although this is rare for some people, there are a crew of people who are simply irresponsible. Although this hurts them the most, it’s whacking our wallets too.

2. The Loyalist

This is the patient who uses brand-name medications because that’s what the doctor first prescribed. He is slow to ask his doctor about changing to a lower-cost generic drug because they trust the brand name or have watched one too many drug commercials. Given that the chemical composition of generics is identical to the name brand, this is an easy way to save billions.

1. The Traditionalist

This is the patient who routinely goes to the store for other items and enjoys the personal contact, but has never made a deliberate decision about whether to switch to Home Delivery (i.e., mail order) for his medications. These people would benefit greatly from surfing over to Drugstore.com (DSCM) and other online retailers who can get them bargains on their meds.