BIG SAVINGS: If doctors and patients used prescription drugs more wisely, they could save the U.S. health care system at least $213 billion a year, by reducing medication overuse, underuse and other flaws in care that cause complications and longer, more-expensive treatments, researchers conclude.
THE STUDY: The new findings by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics improve on numerous prior efforts to quantify the dollars wasted on health care.
THE DATA: The institute, part of data analysis and consulting firm IMS Health, used its proprietary data on prescriptions written by doctors — many of which patients never fill — plus other information to produce a current, more reliable estimate of avoidable costs solely related to medication use.
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