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Overcoming Barriers to Medication Adherence for Chronic Diseases

Tuesday, February 21, at 1:00 p.m. ET

Woman holding two bottles of pills

Medications save lives for countless Americans. People with chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and HIV can enjoy a good quality of life when they routinely take their medicine. Poor medication adherence is linked with poor clinical outcomes. While these facts may seem obvious, a staggering one half of patients in the US stop taking their medications within one year of being prescribed.

The reasons for “medication non-adherence” are varied. Affordability, a lack of understanding of the importance of the medications, and unpleasant side effects are some examples patients cite for not taking their medication as directed. Beyond increased mortality, the result costs the United States billions of dollars per year. Hospital admission rates increase for non-adherent patients with chronic illness by up to 69 percent.

Join our speakers as they discuss research, interventions, education, and emerging tools and technologies that may help overcome these barriers to medication non-adherence.

Future Grand Rounds topics include emerging tick-borne pathogens and the National ALS Registry.

Email your questions about this topic before or during the session.

CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds Presents:

“Overcoming Barriers to Medication Adherence for Chronic Diseases”
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET
Global Communications Center (Building 19)
Alexander D. Langmuir Auditorium
Roybal Campus


Beyond the Data — Overcoming Barriers to Medication Adherence for Chronic Diseases

Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Dr. Larry Garber discuss why fifty percent of people with chronic illnesses stop taking their medications within one year of being prescribed. It’s hard to take your prescriptions when you can’t afford the price, have difficulty opening the pill bottle, or you hate the side effects. Some patients don’t believe their medications are helping them. Tune in to hear these reasons and others. Learn how research and technology, along with other successful options, assist patients in sticking to their medication regimen.

Presented By:

Todd Ruppar, PhD, RN 
Associate Professor, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri
Associate Director, Meta-Analysis Research Center
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar (2013-2016)
“Understanding Barriers to Medication Adherence”

P. Michael Ho, MD, PhD 
Staff Cardiologist, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
“Multi-faceted Interventions Can Improve Adherence”

Larry Garber, MD
Medical Director, Informatics
Associate Medical Director for Research, Reliant Medical Group
“Promoting Medication Adherence through High-Tech and High-Touch”

CAPT Paul J. Weidle, PharmD, MPH
Team Lead, Health Services Research for Prevention with HIV Positive Persons
Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Broadening Public Health Approaches to Medication Adherence for HIV”

Facilitated By:

John Iskander, MD, MPH, Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH, Deputy Scientific Director, Public Health Grand Rounds
Susan Laird, MSN, RN, Communications Director, Public Health Grand Rounds

For non-CDC staff interested in viewing the session:

A live external webcast will be available via the Webcast Links section of our website. For individuals who are unable to view the session during the scheduled time, a video of the session will be posted to our archives 2-3 days after the presentation.

For non-CDC staff who wish to attend in person:

Due to security measures at CDC’s Roybal campus, non-CDC staff who wish to attend in person must have prior clearance and a U.S. passport or state-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license). Names of non-CDC staff (both domestic and international) who wish to attend in person should be submitted to the Grand Rounds team. Please note that all information for international visitors must be submitted at least 10 business days in advance.

For individuals requiring reasonable accommodations:

It is the policy of CDC to provide reasonable accommodations (RA) for qualified individuals with disabilities to ensure their full inclusion in CDC-sponsored events. Employees are asked to submit RA requests at least 5 business days prior to the event. Please email the request to

Grand Rounds is available for continuing education.

All continuing education credit for Public Health Grand Rounds (PHGR) is issued online through the CDC/ATSDR Training and Continuing Education Online system. If you have questions, email Learner Support  or call them at 1-800-41-TRAIN (1-800-418-7246).

Those who view PHGR either in person or via IPTV or web on demand and who wish to receive continuing education must complete the online seminar evaluation. Thirty days from the initial seminar, the course number will change to WD2346 and will be available for continuing education until January 21, 2019. The course code for PHGR is PHGR10.

Target audience: physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, certified health education specialists, laboratorians, others


  1. List key measures of burden of disease involving morbidity, mortality, and/or cost.
  2. Describe evidence-based preventive interventions and the status of their implementations.
  3. Identify one key prevention science research gap.
  4. Name one key indicator by which progress and meeting prevention goals is measured.

CE certificates can be printed from your computer immediately upon completion of your online evaluation. A cumulative transcript of all CDC/ATSDR CE credits obtained through the TCE Online system will be maintained for each user. We hope that this will assist CDC staff and other public health professionals in fulfilling the requirements for their professional licenses and certificates.

Learn more about continuing education on the Grand Rounds website.

  • Page last reviewed: February 1, 2017
  • Page last updated: February 13, 2017
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