A survey has revealed that around 57 percent of Australians lack the knowledge about the medicines which is claiming their lives.
It also found that one in five had taken an out-of-date or expired medicine; just under half had missed a dose of their medicine and one in four had taken medicine without food, which was meant to be taken with food.
A study by Australia's largest health fund Medibank Private has found that nearly two in three people are incapable of understanding their doctor's instructions, their medication regime or the relationship between lifestyle factors and their health - and it is killing them, News.com.au reported.
Medibank Private's national medical director Dr Rosheen Azam says an example of the problem is that only one in five people with diabetes knows how to do a proper foot examination to check for cuts or inflammation that could become infected, requiring hospitalization or even amputation.
Heart Foundation clinical director Dr Rob Grenfell says that two years after a heart attack, one in three patients stop taking their anti-cholesterol medicines and between a third and a half stop taking their blood pressure tablets. Many went on to have a second heart attack.
"At the moment, 40 per cent of people with high blood pressure don't know it causes heart disease," News.com.au quoted him as saying.
"If they don't know we're trying to stop them having a heart attack then they don't have the motivation to use their medicine," he added.