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Millions of People Don't Take Medications Correctly

It's considered "the other drug problem." Millions of people don't take their medicine correctly —or quit taking it altogether—and the consequences can be deadly. On average, half of patients with chronic illnesses like heart disease or asthma skip doses or otherwise mess up their medication. A new report concludes that people with initially symptom-free diseases are most at risk. For instance, just 51 percent of high blood pressure patients stick with their medication as prescribed. Former President Bill Clinton was a recent high-profile example. He stopped taking his cholesterol-lowering medication and later needed open-heart surgery. The report estimates that this drug problem could be costing the country $177 billion in medical bills and lost productivity.

The reams of information stapled to the bag confuse some people. Other people forget to take their medication or they start feeling better and toss the rest of the bottle. Even doctors mess up and take their own prescriptions just 79 percent of the time.

The FDA is studying the problem and hopes to achieve better compliance through simpler drug labels and attention-grabbing ads about the dangers of not taking prescribed medications.

Potential Preaching Angles: 1) Bible reading; Obedience; Word of God - Just as regularly taking medication is essential for physical health, the habitual intake of Scripture is essential for good spiritual health. 2) Minister; Pastor; Preacher - We must be sure to teach and preach God's Word in "user friendly" words so that our people understand and practice it consistently.

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