Workers Who Take Their Medicine Are More Productive

Editor’s Note: Portions of this report were taken from a press release from CVS-Caremark.

It seems commonsensical to say that employees who take their medicines as prescribed are more productive than workers who risk medical problems because they neglected to take their meds. Now a CVS Caremark research study confirms that notion: Employees who adhere to their medications and schedules as prescribed averaged seven fewer days away from the job because of illness-an increase in workplace presence that is worth an average of $1,700 per employee to the average company in the study.

Researchers pored through data on 100,000 employees at 16 medium to large companies, including workers with diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. They looked into the workers’ prescription drug usage, absenteeism, and short-term disabilities.  

“This is one of the first studies to be able to quantify the impact of medication adherence on worker absenteeism,” said Ginger Carls, PhD, senior research leader at Truven Health Analytics and co-author of the study. “The results provide a clear message that employees with common chronic conditions who take their medications as directed miss fewer days at work, resulting in potential cost savings for employers.”
This study is part of ongoing CVS Caremark-sponsored research that focuses on understanding why many consumers do not take their prescriptions as directed. The hope is to develop solutions that will help patients use their medications effectively.  The company, which is the largest pharmacy healthcare provider in the US, estimates that annual healthcare costs due to medication nonadherence could be as much as $300 billion nationwide.0

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