Pharmaceutical International News - July 2012
US Patient Drug Treatment Adherence Issues
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 23/07/2012 - 09:30:00
More effective patient treatment follow-up procedures would produce billions of dollars in savings and give these patients improved outcomes, according to a new study.
Carried out by a collection of researchers including representatives from the University of California and published by the American Geriatrics Society's journal, the study involved focus group sessions and examinations of 100 patients' out-patient surgery visits.
Between them, these 100 patients were taking a total of 410 drug treatments, for a range of conditions.
US Drug Adherence
The research team discovered during their study that healthcare providers said they should be responsible for assessing and bringing-up drug adherence with patients but, ultimately, admitted that patients themselves assumed this responsibility at the end of the day.
Where almost two-thirds of the 410 drug treatments were concerned, the US drug adherence topic formed part of discussions but in-depth lines of questioning only emerged in 4.3 per cent of instances. Furthermore, only just over half the patients that weren't sticking to their treatment schedules admitted this in the presence of their physicians.
Patient Treatment Adherence
The financial impact of this non-adherence costs the US approximately $290m every single year and knock-on effects include greater mortality rates and more in the way of hospital admissions. That's as per data published earlier this month by the National Consumers League which also describes other consequences of this lack of patient treatment adherence, including longer drug store waiting times and a need to make more trips to the doctors.
"Three out of four Americans don't take their medication as prescribed while one-third doesn't even pick up their medication", the league's Health Policy vice president, Rebecca Burkholder, recently told Fox Business, adding: "If the side effects become uncomfortable and it's hard to live they stop taking it.
"It's a combination of communication and technology. It's a huge problem and there's not one single good reason why people don't take their medication."
Image copyright US National Institutes of Health
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