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Adults With Chronic Conditions Earn C+ for Meds Adherence

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- On average, adults with chronic conditions earn a C+ for medication adherence, according to a report published June 25 by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

Researchers from Langer Research Associates surveyed 1,020 U.S. adults aged 40 years and older who have been prescribed ongoing medication for a chronic condition (median age, 60 years; average of four ongoing prescriptions). Medication adherence was examined, measured according to adherence to nine specific behaviors in the past year.

According to the report, the average score on adherence was 79 (on a 0 to 100 scale), representing a C+. When adherence levels were grouped, 24 percent earned a grade A for being completely adherent, while 24 percent were largely adherent, reporting one non-adherent behavior (grade B). Grades C and D (two or three non-adherent behaviors, respectively) were reported by 20 and 16 percent of adults, respectively. Fifteen percent of adults were largely non-adherent (grade F), with four or more non-adherent behaviors. Key predictors of adherence included patients' personal connection with a pharmacist; affordability of medications; level of continuity in care; perceived importance of medication adherence; being well-informed about health; and unpleasant side effects of medication.

"The academic year has drawn to a close for most students, but when it comes to taking their prescription drugs, it's many of the parents who may require summer school," B. Douglas Hoey, R.Ph., M.B.A., the chief executive officer of the NCPA, said in a statement. "Proper prescription drug use can improve patient health outcomes and lower health care costs, so anything less than an A on medication adherence is concerning."

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