Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Services Research & Administration

First Committee Member

David Palm

Second Committee Member

Stephen Peters

Third Committee Member

Adam Schulte


Medical prescribing is a common occurrence in daily clinical practice. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015-2016 45.8% of the U.S. population used prescription drugs in the past 30 days. (CDC, 2019) Although drug therapy can be effective in treating disease, full benefits are often not realized because many patients do not take their medications as prescribed. There is quite a bit of research out there about non-adherence to medication. Some studies focus on the financial impacts of non-adherence, but most of the studies examine the reasons for medication non-adherence. A gap exists in research about the economic impact medication adherence has on the patients themselves. This research project will dive into the financial impact on patients of medication adherence vs. non-adherence. The study aims to highlight the association of increased medical spending and lower medication adherence. Similar to other studies, the results demonstrated that non-adherent patients showed higher pharmacy copays and that Medicare paid more for non-adherent Medicare beneficiaries. These findings highlight that greater importance needs to be placed on ensuring medication adherence.