|Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.||
Controlling the progression of expensive diseases with inexpensive treatments—for instance, using statin drugs to lower a patient's high cholesterol in order to prevent a heart attack—is one of the ways that modern medicine can help lower the total cost of health care. This assumes, of course, that existing treatments to control disease are being used effectively by patients who can most benefit from them. Unfortunately, recent studies suggest that many of the patients most at risk for high–cost complications from diabetes or heart disease are using disease management treatments sporadically or improperly even when they are prescribed. This study, for instance, reported data showing that:
...only 32.9% [of elderly patients] took concomitant antihypertensive and lipid-lowering medication as prescribed.
Until we have better tools to monitor high-risk patients and help them use pharmaceuticals effectively, our attempts to control health care costs through preventative medicine will lack in effectiveness.
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