Home > A report on patient non-adherence in Ireland.

Al-Lawati, Sabah (2014) A report on patient non-adherence in Ireland. Dublin: Pfizer Healthcare Ireland; Irish Pharmacy Union; Irish Patients' Association.

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A new report into non-adherence to medicines has been published today by Pfizer Healthcare Ireland in association with the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and the Irish Patients’ Association (IPA). This report reviews existing international literature on medication adherence and outlines results from an Irish survey examining adherence in Ireland and the factors which hinder it and promote it.

The issue of non-adherence is of growing concern to clinicians, healthcare systems, and payers because of its negative effect on health outcomes as well as contribution to higher costs of care and its impact on productivity. Further data indicates that medication non-adherence is costing EU governments an estimated €125 billion and contributing to the premature deaths of nearly 200,000 Europeans annually.

According to the research;
• Non-intentional non-adherence is significantly more common that intentional non-adherence with ‘forgetfulness’ the main reason patients report for missing their medication (71%)[2]. Other reasons patients are intentionally non-adherent include patient perception that they don’t need the medication any more (20%); they feel better (16%); they are anxious about the side effects (5%) or they don’t believe that the medication was effective (4%).
• of the conditions requiring regular medication, patients with asthma, diabetes and high cholesterol reported the lowest levels of adherence (30% in people with high cholesterol and 31% in people with asthma or diabetes).
• 52% of carers said that the person they care for regularly forgets to take their medication.
• The three factors ranked most important in ensuring people do take their medication are talking regularly to the doctor (74%); having a good understanding of the illness (42%); and having a good understanding of the medication (40%).
• Patients who were reviewed by healthcare professionals within the last month tended to be more adherent to their treatment than patients who had longer time intervals between reviews.
• 18% of those surveyed reported they are not fully adherent all of the time. This rises to 23% in men, and also 23% in those under 35.
• Of those who sometimes miss their medication, 64% miss it one or more times a week.
• Those who are non-adherent are significantly more likely to have two or more conditions.

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