Search All Search Products Search Articles
Get 25 Health Reward Points – Register Now!  CNCA Health Rewards
You are here :


More Than Half of Rx Users Do Not Take Medication Correctly

To err is human--so the saying goes. But when it comes to something as potentially dangerous as prescription drugs, mistakes can be deadly. That’s why the results of laboratory tests for monitoring prescription drug compliance are so disturbing.

In analyzing about 76,000 laboratory tests, Quest Diagnostics found that 3 in 5 patients (63%) were not taking their medication as prescribed.

And just as significant is the fact that the problem was found among all classes of drugs and in men and women across all ages, income levels and government vs. commercial health plan coverage.

Specific Findings

  • Some of the highest rates of misuse were found among children, young adults and older patients. Tests indicated that as many as 70% of children ages 10 to 17 years and 73% of adults ages 18 to 24 years were not following Rx orders. Inconsistencies were found in about 50% of adults ages 65 years or older.
  • While the rates of Rx drug misuse were about the same between males and females at 63%, males used illicit drugs more often than women, with 2-in-10 (21%) testing positive for cocaine, marijuana or PCP, compared with 15% of females.
  • Non-compliance rates were similar for low-income areas (median income of $29,000 or less) and high-income areas (median income of $80,000 or more), although patients at the lowest income level were more likely to test negative for their prescription drug(s) than those at the highest income level (42% compared to 35% inconsistency, respectively). This suggests that less affluent people may be more likely to limit or stop using their prescribed medications for financial reasons.


The study reveals that the problem of prescription drug misuse is widespread. And while it doesn’t answer the big questions, such as “Why is this happening?” It does reveal some clues and the need for further research and solutions.

In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to help prevent medication errors. Start with Four Ways to be Smart and Safe with Medicines.


Drug Store News


Leave your comment

Health Rewards

Automatically earn points with every purchase. Redeem your points for free products, services, and discounts. No sign-up or membership fees!

Auto-Refill Savings Program

Schedule regular deliveries and save 15% on every shipment. No risk. No fees. Pause, change or cancel your scheduled refill anytime!

CNCA Subscriptions

Sign up today for important health news/tips and exclusive savings offers – PLUS get 25 Health Rewards points instantly!

© Copyright 2014 Rising Tide

CNCA donates a portion of every sale to The Gateway for Cancer Research. Learn More  

Our Quality Badge

The CNCA Difference

Doctor Recommended. Hospital Approved.

Did you know… one in four national supplements brands failed independent quality testing due to contamination or subpotency. Get the facts you need to know about supplement quality before you buy!

Learn more here.