Medication Adherence

Switch to:

Medication Adherence

Middle age woman holding prescription bottle and using her tablet at home

Taking Your Medicine,
The Right Way

Taking your medicine as directed by your doctor or pharmacist (medication adherence) is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It gives you the best opportunity to manage your condition. 

The Importance of Medication Adherence

Not taking your medicine as directed is a common but serious problem. It can lead to serious health problems.

Non-adherence takes the lives of 125,000 Americans each year and costs the health care system nearly $300 billion a year in additional medical visits and hospitalizations.

Source: American Heart Association

There are many reasons why people don’t take their medicine as directed. Here are just a few:

Uncertainty. Many medicines work silently to prevent or control disease, so it’s hard to know if or how a medicine is working. Some people may not be convinced their medicine is worth taking.

Difficulty. Some medicines like injections or inhalers require a little more work to take. It might also be difficult if medicines need to be taken at different times of the day.

Fear or confusion. It may be difficult to keep up with multiple medicines, complex dosing schedules, and overwhelming amounts of information. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these concerns and the confusion or worry they may be causing. 

Side effects. Some medicines cause side effects or unpleasant reactions. It’s important to remember that, often, the benefits of medicines far outweigh the side effects. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns about side effects.

Cost. Some medicines may have higher costs. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about options to save money on copays such as generic medicines, preferred alternative medicines on your drug list, and patient prescription assistance programs.  

Access to pharmacies. Getting to the pharmacy to pick up your medicines may be difficult. There are free home delivery options available such as Express Scripts Mail Order service.

If you’re having trouble taking your medicine, you can easily establish a simple routine that can help you care for your health in the long run. 

Use one or more of these tips to help you remember to take your medicine.

  • Set a daily alarm on your watch, clock, or phone to help you take your medicine at the same time and place each day.
  • Download a medicine reminder app like the Express Scripts mobile app on your smartphone.
  • Pay attention to how many refills you have left and make an appointment with your doctor to get a new prescription before you run out; ask your doctor to prescribe a 90-day supply to reduce the frequency of reordering.
  • Ask your pharmacy to sync your refills to have them picked up or delivered on the same day each month or quarter. Opt-in for auto-refills if your pharmacy offers them.
  • Consider using a home delivery or mail order pharmacy, such as Express Scripts Mail Order service, to reduce or remove the need for trips to the pharmacy.
  • Use a pharmacy that offers compliance or blister packaging, which will sort your medicines in individual packs by dose, days of the week, and time of day.
  • Make a routine, like taking your medicine after you brush your teeth or with your evening cup of tea.

ConnectiCare Centers and Pharmacy teams are working together to offer you no-cost virtual programs and classes that can help you manage certain conditions and learn to take your medicine.

Each month, the ConnectiCare Pharmacy team hosts a live session focused on a different topic. See the full schedule of live classes and register on the events page.

Can’t join a live class? Visit the on-demand class page. Here, you’ll find live recordings of classes on topics like asthma, and the three-part, on-demand diabetes self-management series. Stephanie Neve, PharmD, AE-C, clinical pharmacist at ConnectiCare, covers medication therapy for diabetes and best practices for taking your medicine in Class 3.

Create your own printable medicine list in one simple step. Include all the prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. With a medicine list, you can easily share important treatment information with your caregiver or family members, doctors, or pharmacist. Bring your list to each doctor's appointment or pharmacy visit so you can discuss ways to help improve your health and avoid any complications. Click the button below to get started.

Create Your Own Medication List (English | Español)

The Power of the Pill Box

A pill box is a great way to organize your medicine and keep you on track. Here’s how to use this simple, time-tested tool.

  • Make sure the medicine you have in your bottle is yours by reading the name on the bottle twice.
  • Match the name of the medicine on the bottle with your medicine list.
  • Place one medicine at a time into each day of the week. After you place each medicine for the week in the correct space in the box, put that bottle away and start with the next one. 
  • When you are done filling the pill box, count the pills in each day to make sure you have the right amount.


Helpful Resources

  • Diabetes Guide

  • Cholesterol and Statins Guide

  • Hypertension Guide

  • Drugs Covered

    Use your drug list, or formulary, to see what drugs are covered by your ConnectiCare plan.

  • Medication Therapy Management Program

    For Medicare Advantage members

  • Tips for Talking with Your Pharmacist

    Learn how to use medicines safely.