Tackling the adherence crisis

Kathy Redmond

Two recent reports are flagging up a problem of near crisis proportions that is leading to unnecessary disease progression, reduced quality of life or even death, and costs an estimated $150– $300 billion annually in the US alone. The US National Council on Patient Information and Education is talking in terms of “America’s other drug problem”; the WHO is calling it “a worldwide problem of striking magnitude”. Both refer to a growing crisis of ‘non-adherence’ – patients not sticking to their prescriptions – which has so far been overlooked as a serious public health issue, despite the high human and financial cost.

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