Medication adherence has become a major issue for people who are taking prescription drugs. Many don’t take their medications as prescribed. It’s a very frustrating situation for healthcare professionals in attempting to treat these patients.
Around the world, people with chronic conditions take their medication only half as often as they need to.
There are variety of reasons why people don’t take their medication as they should. A person may not have adequate access to health care. Their medical provider may not have a good knowledge of the formulary. There may be a lack of communication between the healthcare provider and patient. The patient may not know how to take the drug properly or simply be forgetful.
Between 14 to 20 percent of patients simply don’t get their prescription filled, and 25 to 40 percent never follow up with additional refills. Between 30 and 70 percent of patients get the prescription filled but don’t take the drug.
Habit can be a much stronger determinant for nonadherence than factors like education.
Here are a few techniques to help improve medication adherence.
The patient will be more likely to take a medication if it is placed in a location where the patient can see it throughout the day. High visibility locations would be places like the kitchen table or a bathroom sink.
Patients are more likely to take a medication if they get into the habit of taking it at the same time every day. For example, the person could take the medication before going to work or school every day or before supper every day.
Patients can get into the habit of taking their medication by linking it with another strong habit. For example, most people have a daily habit of brushing their teeth in the morning, so the person could take the medication right before or after brushing teeth.
Patient can use apps or timers on their smartphones or other electronic health devices to remind them when they need to take their medication.
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