A meeting report by the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine highlights the lack of patient adherence to medicines and the issues this raises.

Non-adherence to medicine is a serious issue. It is estimated that between 30 and 50% of patients taking medicines for chronic conditions do not take their medicines as prescribed.

Wasted medicines are thought to cost the NHS in England at least £300 million per year.

Sir Alasdair Breckenridge CBE FRSE FMedSci, Chair of the meeting, said:

“The fact that only one third to one half of patients take their medicines as prescribed should be a major wake up call to the healthcare profession. We need to determine why this is the case and develop better ways to help people take the medicines they are offered.”  

The report stresses that this problem lies with the wider healthcare community as well as with patients themselves, and a co-ordinated response is needed to ensure the best outcomes. 

A full press release and a copy of the report can be downloaded from the right-hand side of this page. More information is also available on the project page.

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