Many patients do not obtain medications when first prescribed

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A new analysis indicates that not obtaining a medication the first time it is prescribed–called initial medication non-adherence–is common among patients within the Catalan health system in Spain.

In the analysis of some 1.6 million patients with 2.9 million prescriptions, the prevalence of total initial medication non-adherence was 17.6% of prescriptions. Predictors were younger age, American nationality, having a pain-related or mental disorder, and being treated by a substitute/resident general practitioner in a teaching center.

"We are especially concerned about the high rates of initial medication non-adherence in chronic treatments such as insulins, statins, or antidepressants and suspect that it is also related to an increase in costs, so we are designing an intervention targeting high risk patients," said Dr. Maria Rubio-Valera, senior author of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study.

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