In a national telephone survey produced for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), researchers found that a number of American patients aged 40 and older are struggling with medication adherence.
In "Medication Adherence in America: A National Report Card," researchers reported that "Americans earn only a C+ grade on average in terms of taking their medication properly," NCPA shared in a statement. In addition, "One in seven adults with chronic conditions – the equivalent of more than 10 million adults - received an F grade."
NCPA claims that the "biggest predictor of medication adherence was patients’ personal connection (or lack thereof) with a pharmacist or pharmacy staff." Other predictors include medication affordability, healthcare continuity, patient understanding about their health, and others.
The report states that "these predictors, as well as other results of this survey, indicate a variety of avenues by which health care providers and pharmacists alike can address non-adherence—among them, better informing patients of the importance of adherence, strengthening a sense of personal connection and communication between patients/caregivers and their health care and pharmacy providers and encouraging patients to discuss side effects with those providers."
PMP News asked NCPA whether it believes packaging can help promote adherence. NCPA told us:
"Research has shown that the causes of non-adherence are multi-faceted. Because of their accessibility and frequent interaction with patients, pharmacists are in an ideal position to help identify a patient's individual barriers to adherence and work with them to find solutions that address their needs and work for their lifestyle. Forgetfulness and regimen complexity are two common adherence barriers that can be addressed with packaging and labeling solutions, and community pharmacists can work with their patients to identify the packaging solution that works best for them."
The survey was produced and analyzed and this report written by Langer Research Associates. The report is available for download at www.ncpanet.org/reportcard .