Friday, 13 March 2015

Did you know that…
  • Up to 50% of patients do not take their prescribed medication?
  • Up to 10% of all hospital admissions are due to medication-related problems including those caused by drugs not being taken, or being taken incorrectly?
  • That the cost of patients not following their prescribed treatment regime correctly is estimated to cost health care systems around the world over $300bn annually?
The term used to describe the correct taking of a prescribed course of medical treatment is ‘medical adherence’. Poor medical adherence is a big problem – described by the WHO as ‘a worldwide problem of striking magnitude’.
The Centre for Business Innovation Medical Adherence Consortium is a group of organisations all of whom have an interest in the problem of poor medical adherence and a shared belief that technology might be a part of the solution. This group met for the first time at BUPA House in London towards the end of February. Organisations as diverse as BUPA, GlaxoSmithKline, AbbVie, Tunstall, Janssen, Proteus Digital Health, NICE and others discussed the key areas that need to be addressed if progress is to be made in this difficult area.
The group identified areas where common obstacles to improving poor adherence are thought to lie including:
  • Economic / financial considerations: ensuring that good adherence makes economic sense for all actors.
  • Standardisation: agreement around terminology, identification of gaps in information and other standards and planning to address these.
  • Regulation: identification of key obstacles to improved adherence associated with regulation and determine the best way of engaging with the regulator to jointly determine if and how these might be addressed.
  • "Case studies": identification and dissemination of success stories to encourage wider engagement with the subject of adherence.
  • Measurement / data: understanding problems around measurement of adherence, identifying and disseminating baseline measurements, agreeing standard approaches to measurement.
  • Sustainability: ensuring that any adherence approaches are not only affordable but are sustainable for the long term.

Future meetings will develop these themes and look to make concrete progress in each of them – helping to address some of the problems preventing progress in the difficult area of medical adherence.

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