SOURCE: Kantar Health

Kantar Health

November 07, 2011 05:25 ET

Reasons for Medication Non-Adherence Affect Patient Outcomes

New Results From the National Health and Wellness Survey Show Patients Who Intentionally Do Not Take Medications as Prescribed Have Worse Quality of Life

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Nov 7, 2011) - Non-adherence to treatment is an important predictor of both worse clinical outcomes and higher long-term costs. However, the reasons for non-adherence are also important to consider, according to new findings from the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS), conducted by Kantar Health and presented today at the 14th Annual European Congress for ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomic and Outcomes Research) in Madrid, Spain.

"We often think of adherence and non-adherence as events, or series of events: taking medication as prescribed or not," says Marco DiBonaventura, Ph.D., Director, Health Economics and Outcomes Research at Kantar Health. "However, our results suggest that the reasons why patients do not take their medications may have important implications on health outcomes. Specifically, across a variety of chronic conditions, patients who intentionally did not take their medication as prescribed reported worse quality of life and higher cost outcomes compared with patients who unintentionally did not take their medication as prescribed."

Kantar Health examined patients from the EU NHWS who were taking medications for one of 10 chronic conditions (including hypertension, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and pain). For each condition, patients reported their level of unintentional non-adherence (forgetting to take medications or being careless when taking medications) and intentional non-adherence (not taking medications when feeling better or worse) using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. Levels of intentional and unintentional non-adherence were then used as predictors of quality of life, work productivity and healthcare resource utilization, holding other demographic and patient characteristics constant. Both types of adherence were predictive of nearly all health outcomes, though stronger relationships were observed for intentional non-adherence.

"These results show that all forms of non-adherence are not created equal," Dr. DiBonaventura says. "Understanding the reasons for non-adherence may be very important when assessing long-term health outcomes. Also, the fact that intentional non-adherence was more strongly associated with health outcomes suggests that strategies to improve adherence may vary in their success depending upon the type of non-adherence they address. New treatments with improved convenience, presumably decreasing the level of unintentional non-adherence, may not have as much of an effect on health outcomes as new treatments with more favorable side effect profiles or better patient education, the latter two of which would address intentional non-adherence."

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)
The study's results were drawn from the 2010 European NHWS, a sample of 57,805 adults in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The NHWS is a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually via the Internet; topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts the NHWS annually in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported database in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health (
Kantar Health is a global, evidence-based decision support partner to the world's leading pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies. Our 700+ staff act as catalysts, working closely with customers to drive distinctive decision-making that helps them prioritize product development and portfolios, differentiate their brands and ensure product profitability after launch. We are unique in that we bring together clinical, medical and methodological expertise, commercial/marketing know-how and proprietary data. It is this rare combination, together with our unparalleled stakeholder reach, that enables us to mobilize incisive, imaginative and timely ROI-driven solutions, empowering clients to deliver better healthcare options to their customers.

With offices in over 40 countries, we excel at solving technically or logistically challenging projects around the world and across the product lifecycle, combining on-the-ground know-how and global and national proprietary data to quickly identify value drivers. As part of WPP, we can also incorporate highly innovative thinking from outside the industry into our solutions.

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