Healthcare experts’ estimate that one in every two patients do not take their prescribed medication as required and a quarter of prescriptions are not even filled. This is a very serious situation indeed as one of the most effective ways of treating a person is not through latest technology or expensive medicines, but simply ensuring that they take their existing medicines as and when required in the appropriate dosage. According to the World Health Organization, “Increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the population than any improvement in specific medical treatments.” The WHO estimates that poor medication compliance management leads to greater morbidity and death along with incurring avoidable costs of approximately $100 billion every year.
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The medication compliance management market plays a critical role in ensuring that patients adhere to their recommended therapy. The benefits of these are an improved medical outcome and higher patient value over the lifetime. The use of next-generation technology with financial incentives like electronic loyalty cards, (refill reminders, text messages, emails), behavioural sciences and other methods will help to retain patients in the long-term. Medical compliance management programs with an ongoing patient relationship are far more successful than one-time or even periodic exchanges. The medication compliance management market is slowly moving towards the realisation that there is no single solution for every patients’ needs and multiple, unique compliance programs under one roof will need to be developed.
The two key Medication Compliance Management Market Drivers are the rising demand for mobile health monitoring (mHealth) and a rising trend towards personalised healthcare. Almost the entire world population already owns a mobile phone and mHealth already plays a critical role in medical compliance management. This will only increase in the years ahead. Patients also show a marked preference for care suited to their medical history, biology, specific needs or requirements.
The medication compliance management market restraints can broadly be divided into three – those faced by patients, physicians and the systems.
- Patient constraints- Some patients might not understand their disease or be uninvolved in the treatment decision making. Medical illiteracy is a major issue particularly in less developed countries which may rely on alternative medicinal practices. A patients’ belief, attitudes and previous experiences play a key role in their medication compliance management. Compliance tends to decline after a major event like a stroke for example. Other barriers are high medical cost, poor understanding of instructions, and lack of family support or even poor mental health.
- Physician related factors – Not only do physicians fail to detect medication noncompliance in their patients, but they also contribute to it by prescribing complex medical regimens while failing to explain the benefits and side-effects of these drugs effectively. They also do not adequately take the financial burden of such treatment into account. Ineffective communication between physicians and patients for chronic diseases like CVD reduces the patient’s understanding of their disease, its complications and the importance of medical compliance. Lack of communication between physicians and hospitals can also contribute to medical non-compliance.
- Health system factors- Fragmented medical care systems create barriers to medication compliance management by limiting care coordination and the patient’s access to it. Prohibitively expensive drugs also are a factor in the medication compliance management market. Health IT is not readily available, restraining physicians from accessing information from different care-venues. This compromises patient care, medication refills, and doctor-patient communication. In a place where each physician sees a large number of patients individually, the patient medication behaviour and history may not be properly understood. This lack of time may stifle the physician in properly engaging the patient for an adequate discussion on medication compliance management and strategies for success.
The main medication compliance management market is North America, while Asia is expected to grow at the fastest rate in the coming decade.
Some of the companies operating in the medication compliance management market include Koninklijke Philips N.V., AdhereTech Inc., Qualcomm Incorporated, Omnicell, Inc., Adherence Solutions LLC, SMRxT, DrFirst, Proteus Digital Health Inc. and McKesson Corporation.
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