How to Make Your Medicines Work for You

When we say that medical innovation has made life better, what does that actually mean? In reality, it means different things to different people. To patients, new treatments can help them live longer, more active lives. For families, it means more memories and time spent with the people you love. If you’re looking at the “big picture”, innovative medicines continue to offer major improvements to the overall health system. But the least effective medicine is the one you don’t take. That’s why medication adherence is so important—both for personal health and health care sustainability.

Take a look at 3 ways to make the most of your medicines:

  • Cost Savings for Individuals: For people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, studies have found that proper adherence resulted in a net savings of $1,200 to $7,800 per person per year because of cost savings in non-drug spending, such as from disease complications or hospitalizations.
  • Build a More Sustainable Health Care System: Taking medicines as prescribed can help to prevent costly complications from chronic diseases. Improved adherence could translate to a savings of $213 billion annually in the United States. To put that in perspective, that amount would be equivalent to the cost of building 142 Yankee Stadiums.
  • Mutual Benefits for Individuals and the Health Care System: In the United States, life expectancy increased by a full decade from 1950 to 2009, thanks in large part to continuous medical innovation. Additionally, people with chronic diseases have had the ability to stay at work longer, providing more financial stability and leading to a more productive workforce.


When taken as prescribed, medicines have the power to support the entire health care system by translating into healthier outcomes for individuals and big cost savings for the system as a whole. From increases in life expectancy to new discoveries that make chronic diseases more manageable, innovative treatments have helped improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world.