Medication non-adherence is common among patients today. Data reveals that approximately 25 per cent of new prescriptions are never fulfilled, while up to half of patients fail to take their medicine correctly. The sheer scale of non-adherence is quite astounding: it has been estimated that about 125,000 deaths each year in the USA are due to medication non-adherence, while the cost of poor medication adherence is estimated to be $100 billion per year.
Problems keeping different medications under control can be exacerbated when medicines are fulfilled on different dates, increasing the chance of patients forgetting to pick up pills.
Some solutions to non-adherence have been implemented. Electronic pill boxes combined with electronic reminders have been successful with diabetic patients, while internet interventions show promising results. Counselling has also helped some individuals.
Here are four common reasons behind people’s inability to comply.
Patients are sometimes scared of potential side effects – perhaps because they have seen someone else experiencing them who was taking the same or a similar medicine. It follows that they believe the medicine was behind the problems.
Pharmacists can support doctors in encouraging proper medication adherence. This may involve the refrigeration of certain drugs. Pharmacy fridges for this purpose are available from suppliers, including https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/medical-refrigeration/pharmacy-fridges.
This study looks at how to encourage adherence to long-term medication.
Depressed patients are less likely to follow medical advice on how to take their medications. Poor outcomes due to depression have been noted in academic studies. Risk factors include lack of motivation, lack of energy, social withdrawal, feelings of hopelessness and alterations in expectations about the harms or benefits of treatment. Further exacerbating the situation, patients with depression may have problems with communication and diminished satisfaction with their care.
Sometimes patients see news coverage of pharmaceutical companies making efforts to influence patterns of physician prescribing. This can lead the patient to become suspicious both of the pharmaceutical company’s marketing attempts and their doctor’s motives when prescribing.
4. Negative Beliefs
Some patients have negative beliefs about their medicine. Such beliefs could encompass worries about becoming dependent on the drug, thinking that the medication isn’t working, believing that their doctor fails to understand them, or thinking that taking it might disrupt their life.