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Health officials push proper use of prescription medications

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Health officials push proper use of prescription medications
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In this edition of Healthy Living, Katie Gibas explains the importance of taking your prescription medication properly.

Every year, 125,000 Americans die from not following the directions on their prescriptions.

"When you consider that half of the population in the United States is on at least one medication, and 90 percent of people who are 60 or older are on a medication or should be on their medication, you see how big an issue that is," explained Dr. Arthur Vercillo, the regional president for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

Whether it's forgetting to take them, complicated directions or because of financial reasons, health experts estimate as many as 75 percent of people don't take their medications as directed.

Now, many organizations are working to raise awareness about medication adherence. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is using super hero TAD to remind people to Take their Medications as Directed.

Vercillo said, "We will have healthier individuals, a healthier region, a healthier economy. And it will benefit everybody. Anyone who pays taxes, some of your dollars are going to Medicaid and Medicare and other people's health issues. You want these people healthy for a number of reasons."

"Getting people to understand that one second activity is, taking your medication as prescribed, talking to your doctor about the list of barriers and all the potential solutions. The beauty of this is that it is a pretty easy to fix problem," said Dr. Cynthia Morrow.

While it may seem like taking a pill is a pretty easy thing to do, it can actually be very complicated.

Morrow said, "My father passed away this summer and he was very, very ill and had so many medications. And it took me to make a complete list of what pills, what they were for, when he should take them, in what order he should take them."

If you're having a hard time affording your medications or remembering to take them, talk to your doctor to create a solution together.

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