At first glance, it would seem like a slam-dunk idea: improve patient medication adherence by switching from an injectable medication to an oral one. An easy-to-swallow pill must be better than an uncomfortable needle stick, one would assume. Yet this is not necessarily the case. For example, with multiple sclerosis, many patients actually stick to their treatment plan better when the medications are supplied as an injection instead of in pill form.
A study of medication adherence in multiple sclerosis patients was recently presented at this year’s Consortium for Multiple Sclerosis Center meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. It found that 45% of multiple sclerosis patients on oral medications reported adherence issues of missed doses while only 29% of those taking injectables missed doses. “Forgetfulness” was reported by the patients to be the main cause of missed doses.
It’s important to remember that there are two types of non-adherence. First, there is unintentional non-adherence, such as a patient who sometimes forgets to take their medication. Secondly, there is intentional non-adherence, which can be traced back to root causes such as depression, affordability of medications, or side effects. Different strategies are needed to address each non-adherence issue. At BioPlus, we understand this and our pharmacy team is skilled in assessing adherence roadblocks and creating a successful plan to create better patient outcomes.
Stephen C. Vogt, Pharm.D.
President and CEO
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy
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Ciccone A. Oral medications don’t improve dose adherence in multiple sclerosis. Neurology Advisor June 2, 2015
Fiore K. Oral MS drugs may not automatically boost adherence. MedPage Today June 1, 2015.