You forgot to set your alarm last night, and you wake up frantically ten minutes before you need to leave for work. You scramble to get dressed and run out the door. When you finally get to your desk, you realize you forgot to take your medication. By the time you get back home for the evening, you decide it’s too late or have forgotten altogether. If you’re one of the 70 percent of Americans on one or more prescription medications, this situation or one like it probably sounds familiar.
According to the American Heart Association, not taking prescriptions as directed claims 125,000 lives and costs nearly $300 billion dollars every year. Missing a dose, taking an incorrect amount or stopping a medication altogether can have serious consequences. At the very least, it leads to unnecessary medical costs and hospital stays.
The problem is so significant that a World Health Organization report named patients’ failure to take medications correctly as the number one problem in treating illness today.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (Excellus BCBS) decided to take action with a community engagement campaign called Take as Directed (“TAD”.) “Take as Directed” encourages consumers to take prescription medications properly and raises awareness of the health risks of non-adherence.
To call attention to this issue, Excellus BCBS worked with the Rochester Red Wings®, a AAA baseball team in Rochester, N.Y. Staff at a 2014 game distributed “TAD” superhero capes to the first 5,000 fans entering the stadium, and the crowd set a world record for the most people wearing capes and doing the wave.
Excellus BCBS’s work to raise awareness about this issue is an example of the Power of Blue – Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ commitment to helping our members live healthier lives. To learn more about how BCBS companies are using The Power of Blue to help improve the health of the communities we serve, download the full 2014 Investing in America’s Health report or visit bcbs.com/investingincommunities.
Rochester Red Wings® is a registered trademark of Rochester Community Baseball, Inc.