18 February 2013
Do you know how to take your medication?
New research has shown that a significant proportion of people are not taking their medication correctly, putting a huge strain on the health services. Those with long-term conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes are most at risk.
Over a million prescriptions were analysed and patients were surveyed in the study, conducted at Aston University in Birmingham. It covered the inner-city wards in the areas covered by the Birmingham Primary Care Trust and focused on those with high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Chris Langley, who headed the research, said, “This study provided an intriguing insight into adherence behaviour within an inner-city population, whilst the focus group data provided context and understanding of the barriers to adherence from the patients’ perspective.”
The report recommends that more information is provided to patients with long-term conditions to help identify those who need more help. Doctors should also note a patient’s first language and religion whilst drugs companies should provide clearer information that can be understood by all patients.