Physicians don't provide enough medication adherence counseling: 7 findings

Physicians believe medication adherence is a critical factor in clinical outcomes for patients with chronic conditions, yet fewer than half include medication adherence counseling when prescribing new drugs, according to a survey by HealthPrize Technologies.

HealthPrize Technologies, a medication adherence and digital patient engagement company, surveyed 100 physicians on their medication adherence counseling practices for patients with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Key takeaways from the survey are shown below:

  • The vast majority of physicians — 96 percent — rank the importance of medication adherence to outcomes as an eight or above on a scale of one to 10.
  • However, only 48 percent of physicians reported they always include medication adherence counseling upon a new prescription. More physicians — 58 percent — said they always include it upon follow-up visits.
  • About a third of physicians estimated less than 10 percent of the prescriptions they write are never filled even once.
  • Thirty-eight percent of physicians estimated between 10 and 20 percent of their patients fill new prescriptions once, but then quit taking the medication within the first 12 months
  • Physicians rank co-pay discount programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and rewards programs equally for promoting medication adherence.
  • Most physicians — 42 percent — reported patients must be at least 90 percent adherent to medication regimens to benefit from that medication in terms of improved clinical outcomes.
  • The most common reasons patients don't fill, refill or take their medications are they simply forgot, the benefits are too far in the future and it's not a high enough priority.

See the full report here.

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