Medicines adherence

Medicines non-adherence is a major obstacle to the effective delivery of health care. It is estimated that between a third and half of patients on long term treatment do not take their medicines correctly, contributing in turn to, the human and economic burden of chronic, long-term illness.1

Pharmacists should bear in mind that a variety of factors may impact on a patient's decision on how they take their medicines. By identifying barriers to medicines adherence and providing information on medicines prescribed, pharmacists can support and encourage their patients to take their medicines safely and effectively.

All pharmacists who interact with patients about medicines, whether it be in the context of prescribing, dispensing, counselling or conducting medication reviews.

The purpose of this guidance is to help pharmacists to support patients to get involved in decision making regarding the medicines they take, improve adherence and contribute to strengthening lines of communication between healthcare professionals.

Sections on this page

  • What is medicines adherence?
  • How does medicines adherence differ to concordance?
  • How can I support patients with adherence?
  • How do I identify whether adherence is an issue?
  • How can I improve medicines adherence?
  • How can I ensure that I'm doing this effectively?
  • How do I review adherence?
  • Is there anything else I need to consider?
  • Where to go for further information

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