Adherence to Prescription Directions

Poor compliance to medication represents a global issue that remains unsolved. In 1998, Abigail Zuger, writing in the New York Times, called noncompliance the “other drug problem.” The general public’s opinion is that patients who are prescribed a medicine automatically adhere to it, while the reality is very different. Initially, the general belief was that the patient is the source of the problem. Today, the role of health professionals is revisited while there is a general agreement that noncompliance is a systemic problem. Studies have shown that compliance with prescription directions reduces premature deaths and increases life expectancy. However, there are a number of factors that may explain noncompliance to medications. Public health efforts give particular attention to those with chronic conditions because the ...

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