A new report from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield illustrates the potential costs and health risks associated with patients who don't take prescription medication as it's been prescribed.

The study relied on national estimates for what's referred to as "medication nonadherence" and then applied those data to estimates of New Yorkers living with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression.  They used those conditions because of their prevalence, the availability of safe and effective medications, and an established link between medication nonadherence and adverse health outcomes.

Excellus officials say some people simply don't fill the prescriptions they receive from health care providers, and still others will get the prescriptions and take them for awhile, but then stop before instructed.  They say better adherence means lower health care costs and better lives for those correctly taking their medications.

The report is available from the Excellus website.