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ADHERENCE can be expressed as how much medicine a patient should be taking as prescribed by their doctor compared with how much they actually take. If a patient uses seven out of a prescribed 12 monthly scripts a year, the patient is 58% adherent.
The clinical and economic costs of medication non-adherence are high, increasing hospital admissions.1,2 These are five of the therapeutic categories where patient numbers are high but adherence is poor3:
66% Adherence: Anti-arthritis medications
Are often associated with treating pain, yet they have surprisingly low adherence. Meloxicam, a common treatment for pain or inflammation caused by rheumatoid and osteoarthritis in adults, has a score of just 63%.
66% Adherence: Psycholeptics
Includes antidepressants and anxiolytics but the adherence score excludes PRN medications like diazepam and temazepam. Risperidone has an adherence score of only 61%.
Includes medications such as fluticasone with salmeterol, commonly used for COPD and asthma, with adherence of 59%. Adherence for asthma is poorer historically than for COPD.
74% Adherence: Beta Blockers
Antihypertensive medications that are particularly sensitive to low adherence. Metoprolol tartrate has an adherence of 69%.
75% Adherence: Diabetes medications
Includes metformin at 60% although newer treatments are showing signs of better adherence.
The advantages of adherence
By offering complimentary access to an adherence program and requesting the patient leave their scripts on file at the pharmacy, you are offering a service popular with patients while promoting quality use of medicines.
* Insight provided by NostraData®.
NostraData is a health and retail analytics company that helps pharmacies better service their patients; creating better health outcomes through focused data-driven solutions.
1. Ho, S. C., Chong, H. Y., Chaiyakunapruk, N., Tangiisuran, B., & Jacob, S. A. (2016). Clinical and economic impact of non-adherence to antidepressants in major depressive disorder: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders, 193, 1-10.
2. Australian Department of Health and Ageing. Evaluation of the DAA/PMP Programs June 2010
3. NostraData. Data on file
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