Here is a distillation of the learning, approaches and techniques that have significantly increased patient adherence rates over the past 20 years. Whether applied to patients with life-threatening diseases or simply addressing lifestyle challenges affecting compliance, they’re proven to help significantly impact the chronic problem of patient non-adherence.
Lack of patient adherence continues to plague the healthcare industry. We all know the sta- tistics—billions of dollars in lost Rx sales; billions more in increased healthcare costs due to poor health outcomes. Millions of people are now “talking” about the problem… and attempting to take steps to ameliorate it.
But the reality is that little of what’s been “done” has worked. We’ve tried reminders (phone calls, e-mails, text messages), devices (digital pill bottle caps, alarms, pill boxes), education (why patients should be adherent) and incentives (free trial, co-pay discounts, rewards programs). The results barely scratch the surface of this enormous challenge.
THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM
While there is no “magic bullet” to change patient behavior, the best solutions lie at the heart of the real problem—
Patients don’t “like” Rx therapy; they don’t want to be “controlled” by their medications; and the idea of “taking a pill every day” just isn’t consistent with their self-perception.
If patients simply “forgot” to take their pills every day, we could solve the adherence problem with reminders. The reason we have such a signifi- cant problem is that, regardless of what we, their doctors, family or friends have to say, patients simply don’t want to take their Rx medications.
This exclusive online article reviews the ten steps towards a successful adherence program.
- Patient adherence begins at the very first exposure (before the first doctor visit)
- Effective patient-provider interaction is essential
- Engage patients early in therapy
- Remove roadblocks to staying on therapy
- Provide on-demand support
- Use patient-friendly language
- Promote your program
- Leverage caregivers as an important resource
- Watch for social signals
- Measure your success