National trial to test strategies to improve medication compliance in a community pharmacy setting


Project Details
Project ID: 2007/08-08
Type: Commissioned
Status: Completed
Institution: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Chief Investigator: Dr Anne-Marie Feyer

Project Summary

Background: Non-compliance with medication regimens is recognised in Australia and internationally as a pervasive underlying cause of poorer health outcomes and increased health care costs, with literature estimating that 50 percent or more of patients fail to comply with their medication regimen.

Objective: To test whether a compliance service can be effectively implemented in the community pharmacy setting and will result in a significant improvement in patients’ medication compliance.

Methods: A six month national trial was conducted with 132 pharmacies, selected based on a sampling framework using SEIFA and PhARIA classification. Measurements of baseline compliance, beliefs about medications and readiness to change behaviour were collected from participating patients. Medication compliance was measured using the software program MedsIndex (score out of 100 calculated by the number of missed doses in a given time period). A total of 732 patients on long term medication regimens were recruited to the trial.

Results: Mean (SD) baseline medication compliance was 65.5 (17.85). As a result of the intervention tested in this trial, patient compliance significantly improved to 77.2 (18.78; p<.0001) at three-months and 81.3 (17.97; p<.0001) at six-months. Results also showed significant improvements in patients’ reported confidence in using the agreed strategies (p<.0001) and beliefs about the importance of medication compliance (p<.0001).

Conclusion: The compliance intervention implemented in the community pharmacy setting led to a significant improvement in patients’ medication compliance. National implementation of a program based on the intervention used in this trial could result in significant improved compliance for patients on long term medication regimens and subsequent improvements in health outcomes and reduced costs to the health system.