Are we fighting a losing battle?

in a recent study, involving patients after hospitalization from a heart attack and being discharged… The study focused on the effect of the patents being compliant with their medications if the cost of their medications (co-pays) were removed from the equation.

Historically, studies on compliance have indicated that roughly 33% of pts will remain medication compliant after 3 yrs for various reasons. This study suggests that even with medication provided at no charge compliance does not go below 50%, even with patients suffering from potentially life threatening disease(s).

During the late 70’s and early 80’s the BIG PUSH was for disease prevention, now some 30+ yrs later.. the BIG PUSH is on disease management.

How can we expect to get a handle on overall healthcare cost expenditures, if a majority of people will participate in neither preventative maintenance nor disease management.

One possible solution is patient education, but we all know that education takes time and time is money and few wish to pay for patient education.

Could those in our society leading us down the “death panel path”? If a patient fails to do any preventive care, is non complaint with medication management of their disease state(s)… then all our healthcare system will be able to afford is to provide them with pallative care?