+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Poor medication adherence in type 2 diabetes: recognizing the scope of the problem and its key contributors

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          At least 45% of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) fail to achieve adequate glycemic control (HbA1c <7%). One of the major contributing factors is poor medication adherence. Poor medication adherence in T2D is well documented to be very common and is associated with inadequate glycemic control; increased morbidity and mortality; and increased costs of outpatient care, emergency room visits, hospitalization, and managing complications of diabetes. Poor medication adherence is linked to key nonpatient factors (eg, lack of integrated care in many health care systems and clinical inertia among health care professionals), patient demographic factors (eg, young age, low education level, and low income level), critical patient beliefs about their medications (eg, perceived treatment inefficacy), and perceived patient burden regarding obtaining and taking their medications (eg, treatment complexity, out-of-pocket costs, and hypoglycemia). Specific barriers to medication adherence in T2D, especially those that are potentially modifiable, need to be more clearly identified; strategies that target poor adherence should focus on reducing medication burden and addressing negative medication beliefs of patients. Solutions to these problems would require behavioral innovations as well as new methods and modes of drug delivery.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 70

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, 2015: a patient-centered approach: update to a position statement of the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            A systematic review of the associations between dose regimens and medication compliance.

            Previous reviews of the literature on medication compliance have confirmed the inverse relationship between number of daily doses and rate of compliance. However, compliance in most of these studies was based on patient self-report, blood-level monitoring, prescription refills, or pill count data, none of which are as accurate as electronic monitoring (EM). In this paper, we review studies in which compliance was measured with an EM device to determine the associations between dose frequency and medication compliance. Articles included in this review were identified through literature searches of MEDLINE, PsychInfo, HealthStar, Health & Psychosocial Instruments, and the Cochrane Library using the search terms patient compliance, patient adherence, electronic monitoring, and MEMS (medication event monitoring systems). The review was limited to studies reporting compliance measured by EM devices, the most accurate compliance assessment method to date. Because EM was introduced only in 1986, the literature search was restricted to the years 1986 to 2000. In the identified studies, data were pooled to calculate mean compliance with once-daily, twice-daily, 3-times-daily, and 4-times-daily dosing regimens. Because of heterogeneity in definitions of compliance, 2 major categories of compliance rates were defined: dose-taking (taking the prescribed number of pills each day) and dose-timing (taking pills within the prescribed time frame). A total of 76 studies were identified. Mean dose-taking compliance was 71% +/- 17% (range, 34%-97%) and declined as the number of daily doses increased: 1 dose = 79% +/- 14%, 2 doses = 69% +/- 15%, 3 doses = 65% +/- 16%, 4 doses = 51% +/- 20% (P < 0.001 among dose schedules). Compliance was significantly higher for once-daily versus 3-times-daily (P = 0.008), once-daily versus 4-times-daily (P < 0.001), and twice-daily versus 4-times-daily regimens (P = 0.001); however, there were no significant differences in compliance between once-daily and twice-daily regimens or between twice-daily and 3-times-daily regimens. In the subset of 14 studies that reported dose-timing results, mean dose-timing compliance was 59% +/- 24%; more frequent dosing was associated with lower compliance rates. A review of studies that measured compliance using EM confirmed that the prescribed number of doses per day is inversely related to compliance. Simpler, less frequent dosing regimens resulted in better compliance across a variety of therapeutic classes.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Effect of medication nonadherence on hospitalization and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus.

              Medication nonadherence may reduce the effectiveness of therapies. To our knowledge, the association between medication nonadherence and mortality remains unexplored outside the context of clinical trials. A retrospective cohort study of 11 532 patients with diabetes mellitus in a managed care organization. Medication adherence was calculated as the proportion of days covered for filled prescriptions of oral hypoglycemics, antihypertensives, and statin medications. The primary outcomes of interest were all-cause hospitalization and all-cause mortality. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to assess the independent association between medication adherence and outcomes. Nonadherent patients (proportion of days covered, <80%; prevalence, 21.3%) were younger and had fewer comorbidities compared with adherent patients. During follow-up, nonadherent patients had higher glycosylated hemoglobin, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. In unadjusted analyses, nonadherent patients had higher all-cause hospitalization (23.2% vs 19.2%, P<.001) and higher all-cause mortality (5.9% vs 4.0%, P<.001). In multivariable analyses, medication nonadherence remained significantly associated with increased risks for all-cause hospitalization (odds ratio, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.38-1.81; P<.001) and for all-cause mortality (odds ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.46-2.23; P<.001). The findings were consistent across patient subgroups and using different cutoffs for the proportion of days covered. Medication nonadherence is prevalent among patients with diabetes mellitus and is associated with adverse outcomes. Interventions are needed to increase medication adherence so that patients can realize the full benefit of prescribed therapies.

                Author and article information

                Patient Prefer Adherence
                Patient Prefer Adherence
                Patient Preference and Adherence
                Patient preference and adherence
                Dove Medical Press
                22 July 2016
                : 10
                : 1299-1307
                [1 ]Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego
                [2 ]University of California, San Diego
                [3 ]Center for Metabolic Research, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: William H Polonsky, Behavioral Diabetes Institute, PO Box 2148, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA, Tel +1 760 525 5256, Email whp@
                © 2016 Polonsky and Henry. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.



                glycemic control, type 2 diabetes, psychosocial, medication adherence, hypoglycemia, hba1c


                Comment on this article

                Similar content 65

                Cited by 43

                Most referenced authors 784