Manufacturers of Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs and some consumer products are in a quandary. On the other hand, they must make packaging, containers, and closures secure enough to be tamper-resistant and child safe. At the same time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has challenged them to create packaging that is easy for the elderly and handicapped to open. Tampering indications based on sight, sound and smell are the latest developments.
This Research Database has been developed by HCPC Europe to create an overview of the available research in the field of patient-friendly and adherence packaging. The database is for all members of HCPC Europe. Members can register as a user to get access to the database. Is your organisation not a member yet? Then please register your organisation as a member or contact our Executive Director Ger Standhardt for more information.
Despite mounting evidence, amassed for more than four decades, poor adherence to medications still affects approximately half of the population that receives prescriptions, leading to severe health complications, premature deaths, and an increased use of healthcare services. – – – – Poor adherence is estimated to contribute to nearly 200,000 premature deaths in Europe per year. Patients with chronic diseases are particularly vulnerable to poor health outcomes if they do not adhere to their medications. Mortality rates for patients with diabetes and heart disease who don’t adhere are nearly twice as high as for those who do adhere.
– It is estimated to cost EUR 125 billion in Europe and USD 105 billion in the United States per year in avoidable hospitalisations, emergency care, and outpatient visits.
– The three most prevalent chronic conditions – diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia – stand out as the diseases with the highest avoidable costs, for which every extra USD spent on medications for patients who do adhere can generate between USD 3 to 13 in savings on avoidable emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalisations alone.
The prevalence of medication non-adherence varies considerably across conditions and patient groups. Most of the studies used different assessment methods making it difficult to compare adherence rates across health systems. Overall, among patients with diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia:
– 4 to 31% of patients never fill their first prescription;
– of those who do fill their first prescription, only 50 to 70% are taking their medications regularly (i.e. at least 80% of the time); and
– less than half of these patients are still continuing to take their medications within two years of the initial prescription.
One of the most pressing challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry today is patient compliance – how to ensure the patient takes the right medicine at the right time in the right way. Studies show that patient adherence (the extent to which a patient takes a medicine as prescribed) usually starts well but then falls away strongly over time, a worrying trend seen across almost all therapeutic areas. After 12–18 months, adherence rates may drop to around 30%, even for disease areas with very low survival rates.
The impact of poor medication adherence is serious and costly to both patients and the healthcare system. Consequences include medical complications, disease progression, hospitalizations, impaired quality of life and or even death. With approximately 50% of patients not taking their medications as prescribed across diseases and health conditions, moving the needle even a little toward better adherence can make a big difference.
This paper aims to show how pharmaceutical packaging can have a significant impact on patient compliance and how the introduction of patient-friendly packs really can lead to improved adherence rates.