Harvard Health Letter

Best tips to stay on your medication and stay healthy

Using gadgets, such as a seven-day pillbox or an electronic pill dispenser, can help you stick to a medication regimen and stay healthy.

Tried-and-true methods, plus the latest electronic reminders and gadgets.

Taking medications as your doctor prescribes—known as medication adherence—is a key to staying healthy and managing chronic symptoms. But nonadherence is a serious public health problem. Nearly three out of four Americans report that they do not always take their medication as directed, a problem linked to more than a third of medicine-related hospitalizations and nearly 125,000 deaths each year, according to the National Consumers League. "It's unfortunate. We have many medications that can help people avoid common and deadly diseases," says Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, an internist who studies medication use at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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