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For forgetful, cash helps the medicine go down

New York Times, June 14, 2010

One-third to one-half of all patients do not take medication as prescribed, and up to one-quarter never fill prescriptions at all, experts say. Such lapses fuel more than $100 billion dollars in health costs annually because those patients often get sicker. Now, a controversial effort to tackle the problem is gaining ground: paying people money to take medicine or to comply with prescribed treatment. The idea, which is being embraced by doctors, pharmacy companies, insurers, and researchers, is that paying modest financial incentives up front can save much larger costs of hospitalization, the New York Times reports.