Medical adherence, also known as patient compliance, describes the level at which a patient follows their doctor’s directions and follows through with treatment, which often includes taking medicine.
It seems like a simple concept, but medical adherence is a huge problem, and it’s one that not only affects patients. While those who’ve been prescribed medicine often suffer the most when they don’t follow doctor’s instructions, there are long-reach consequences to such actions. When a patient is admitted to the hospital as a result of their decisions, it takes healthcare workers away from other patients. It also causes medical costs to go up, sometimes drastically so.
It can be easy to place blame on the patient when they don’t take their medicine like they’re supposed to, but there can be a number of reasons beyond their control that prevent them from accepting the care they need. Common reasons include:
- Health literacy: If a patient doesn’t understand why they’re supposed to take their medicine, there’s a chance that they’ll forgo it or take it incorrectly.
- Financial restrictions: If a patient cannot afford the medicine they’ve been prescribed, they won’t fill their prescription or they won’t take their medicine as often as they’re supposed to.
- Side effects: If a patient suffers from uncomfortable side effects from their prescriptions, they may decide that it’s not worth it to continue taking their medicine.
- Medication management: If a patient takes several drugs, they may become confused about dosing instructions.
How We Can Help
When you’re prescribed medicine, it’s vital that you take it exactly as advised. We understand that this can sometimes be difficult or undesirable, especially if you don’t understand how your medicine works or you experience negative side effects.
As medical professionals whose jobs are to dispense medication, we are in the unique position to help patients understand the importance of their medication and seek alternatives if a prescribed medicine is too expensive or has too many bad side effects.
If you’re having trouble taking your medicine, let us help. We’re happy to answer questions about your medication, explore alternative dosing methods, offer easy-open containers, and liaison with your doctor to discuss treatment methods, side effects, and more.