When the prescribed drug regimen are implemented by the patients and Healthcare providers with mutual understanding, medication adherence can be achieved. Medication adherence is a term used when the patient follow the treatment procedures as prescribed.
W.H.O defines Medication Adherence as “The degree to which the patient’s behaviour corresponds with the agreed recommendations from a Health Care provider.”
Both patients and Healthcare providers are fully responsible for the achievement of medication adherence. However it is the patient who decides whether or not to take medicine but Healthcare providers also play a role to make the patients to follow their drug regimen in proper way. If both are successful in developing and performing their responsibilities, medication adherence can be improved. The failure to follow the prescribed drug regimen can lead to poor medication adherence or medication non-adherence. Sometimes the patient do not improve with their health, the reason why the patient is not improving medical condition is because of failure in medication adherence or patient non compliance. It is a serious but often neglected problem around world.
Results/Consequences of medication Non-Adherence
Transmission of disease
Complication in health
Triggers to other disease
Disturbance in Patient-Healthcare provider relationship
Reasons of poor medication adherence or meditation non-adherence
C.Everett Koop, MD “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them”
1. Forgetting to take medicines
2. Patient’s condition : Depression, Psychological disorder, Physical disorders like blindness.
3. Complex treatment regimen
4. Social factors: lack of education, costly medicines, lack of communication, poor patient-health care provider relationship.
5. Others: Polypharmacy, Adverse drug reactions.
Detecting Medication Adherence
1. Direct observed therapy
It results in 100% adherence. eg: DOTS
1. Self reporting. eg: Diaries
2. Observational method: Refill monitoring, Pharmacy records, Count pill method
4. Laboratory tests: Blood, urine
5. Therapeutic drug monitoring
6. Morisky Medication Adherence Scale
Improving Medication Adherence
• Proper research and use of technology in medication therapy
• Educate properly to the patient on the use of taking medicines
• Improve communication between patients and Healthcare providers
• Discussing various aspects of medicines such as Side Effects effects
• Helping patient financially on medicines
• Elaborate proper procedures to reduce treatment complexity
• Follow ups
• Helping patients to engage properly with Healthcare providers.