Pharmacists across the globe face a key issue in their ability to provide patients with the tools that enable them to adhere to medication regimens. Increasing adherence to prescribed treatment options will help to improve the overall health outcomes of the patients that pharmacist’s are serving. For this reason, research into the causes for non-adherence and its resulting issues is and will continue to be an area of high importance. The interest that I have in improving medication adherence led me to the article entitled improving Patients Primary Medication Adherence.
This article is focused around a study completed in a French hospital during the months of November 2010 to June 2011. The study, which included patients over the age of 18 that were admitted into the ITD (Infectious and Topical Disease) and the general medicine unit, was developed to determine if incorporating clinical pharmacy activities into the discharge process would decrease the amount of post-discharge adverse effects. To assess the results of this study, medication adherence was determined by contacting the patients’ community pharmacists 7 days after discharge. The study did not find a correlation between the rate of re-admittance and/or visits to emergency rooms, but patients who received extra counseling during discharge were more likely to be adherent to newly prescribed medications. For this reason, the study supported the idea that adherence can be increased by providing discharge counseling sessions to patients.
I feel like this is an important study for us to consider as pharmacists because managing patient adherence to medication regimens is the most important role we play in improving health outcomes. By improving adherence, we have the ability to lower the risk for serious adverse drug events which can lead to hospitalization. For this reason, I believe that pharmacists should implement all activities that are proven to increase adherence to maximize the results of treatment options. This article has left me wondering how similar programs to increase medication adherence can be implemented in community pharmacy settings.