The doctor prescribes a therapy and there are those who not only do not follow it correctly, but do not even buy medicines. This was revealed by a study from the University of Manitoba, Canada, according to which a third of patients do not comply with the drug therapy that is indicated.
Out of more than 200,000 patients and 91,000 prescriptions, an overall rate of non-compliance with the directions given by doctors has been identified ranging from 13.7% among those who had had a prescription for antidepressant drugs up to 30% among those who had to follow antihypertensive therapies. To notice the discrepancy and to put it under the magnifying glass was the first author of the article, Alexander G. Singerassociate professor of family medicine at the Canadian university.
The survey and the results
The researchers compared prescriptions with pharmacy dispensing data, including in their analysis 91,660 prescriptions written from April 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014, provided to approximately 200,000 patients aged 18 and over.
If the malaise is visible, then it is cured more. That’s right: for symptomatic and tangible conditions, from infections to anxiety, the rate of “non-compliance” with the prescription was lower, ranging from 13.7 to 17.5 percent. For asymptomatic conditions (hypertension, osteoporosis), it ranged from 21.2 to 30%.
In this study, in particular, drug costs did not affect whether or not to adhere to prescribed therapy as low-income Manitoba citizens are eligible for the provincial Pharmacare program, which provides family income-based drug coverage. However, it could affect other areas of the country or the world.
The study did not focus on the demographic or clinical factor and the possible influence on compliance with prescriptions. The only certain fact is that this phenomenon has proved very common and often doctors give people the second or third prescription without having checked whether or not they have taken the first.
Failure to comply with the prescriptions of the family doctor or any other doctor is serious. For this reason it would perhaps be necessary for the healthcare staff to spend a little more time in explaining the reason for that particular drug, how it works and which disorders it prevents.