A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) finds that among residents about 30 percent of patients 65 and older with high blood pressure in South Carolina’s Midlands do not take their medicine properly.
An area along the I-95 corridor nicknamed the “Stroke Belt,” has a higher percentage of individuals not taking their blood pressure medication properly. Allendale County led the way at,
University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy clinical associate professor Betsy Blake told South Carolina Radio Network that a big factor may be cost. “It could be that it’s too expensive. They can’t afford the cost for that medication.”
She said discussing barriers to medication as well as strategies for patients and pharmacists to improve patients’ health will help overcome problems an individual may have. “They can also help identify the reason why the patient is not taking it,” she said. “It could be the patient has decided that they think that there’re having an adverse effect from one medication, but it may be something totally different,” Blake said.
CDC officials say they encourage health care systems to ensure that people understand the importance of blood pressure control and how taking blood pressure medicine as directed along with a healthy diet and exercise lowers risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke.
The federal government is also providing resources to all states and Washington, D.C., to prevent chronic disease, including heart disease and stroke; helping states track medication adherence; and encouraging prescription drug plans to improve medicine use through the Medicare Star Ratings program.