Making Assumptions

Many physicians would likely be surprised to learn that their patients are not as faithful at taking important medications as they think. Medication adherence continues to be a drain on optimal treatment outcomes for serious diseases.

HealthPrize Technologies, an industry-leading medication adherence and digital patient engagement company, recently surveyed physicians about adherence. The physicians surveyed concurred that medication adherence plays a large role in clinical outcomes – with 96% of them ranking the importance of medication adherence as an eight or above on a scale that went from one to 10.

There was a bit of a disconnection between this high ranking of the importance of medication adherence and another section of the survey: the finding that less than half of physicians discuss medication adherence when dispensing a new prescription (although many physicians include this topic at follow-up visits). The time around a first fill is critical, with past research showing that patients’ risk of non-adherence is quite high in the first few months, with some patients never even filling their prescriptions.

The surveyed doctors overestimated their patients’ adherence, giving estimates of adherence for their patients that were much higher than national averages. Physicians in this survey ranked interventions to improve adherence, with reward programs and co-pay discount programs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies having a strong showing.

At BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy, we know how tough it can be for all stakeholders to get good data on adherence. With our TAP App portal, physicians can easily see medication adherence with real-time views of each patient. There is also a feature alerting physicians when their patients are not taking their medications as prescribed. This takes the guesswork and assumptions out of the equation.

Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy


What do you think?

I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments section below.



Firlik K. The physician’s view of medication nonadherence. HealthPrize February 12, 2015.

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