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Patient adherence: the true costs

Adherence to medicines – ie, maintaining consistency and complying with correct dosage – is vital for treatment success, yet patient non-adherence remains a global concern, risking a multitude of consequences for both the patients and healthcare systems. Dave Elder explores the issue of medicine adherence and expounds on current efforts to reduce the pill burden.

Patient adherence to medicine

FOR THE majority of clinical conditions, rapid diagnosis followed by fast and effective treatment is vital to a patient’s continued quality of life and potentially their ongoing survival. However, a major impediment to the efficacy of any medical treatment is the patient’s failure to take the medicine in accordance with the patient insert leaflet (PIL) or physician’s recommendations. Even in countries with good healthcare systems and knowledgeable patient populations, patient adherence can still be low, with 40 percent failing to follow dosing instructions.1 This can rise to 70 percent when dosing regimens are complex and/or necessitate changes in lifestyle, such as dietary changes.2











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