These patients were less likely to incur more costly health-related expenses, such as doctor visits, even if they were also taking medications for other, unrelated health conditions, said Rajesh Balkrishnan, the study's lead author and the Merrell Dow professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.

Even a non-life threatening condition like overactive bladder syndrome can have a huge impact on healthcare spending by elderly people: Treatment costs for the syndrome hover near $13 billion annually.

With every 10 percent increase in the number of overactive bladder medication prescriptions filled, the researchers saw a 5.6 percent decrease in annual healthcare costs. During the final year of the three-year study, the people who routinely took their medication saved about $3,700 in overall healthcare costs compared to the participants who didn’t take their medication as prescribed.

“Lower medication adherence with increased age is common among elderly people, as most take several medications daily for various health conditions,” Balkrishnan said. “Still, taking medication as prescribed for overactive bladder syndrome was associated with significantly lower health care costs.”; Source: Ohio State University