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Connecting Medications

Medication noncompliance is becoming an increasingly focussed concern in the healthcare sector for diverse reasons. Various studies targeting this issue in recent years have confirmed a particular picture: if the majority of research outcomes are correct and more than 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed, the economic and personal costs of inadequate patient adherence are enormous (1). In the US alone, the costs of medication noncompliance to the healthcare system are estimated to range between US $100 billion and US $290 billion annually (2). Furthermore, approximately 125,000 deaths and more than 10% of US hospitalisations per year are directly linked to nonadherence reasons (3). In addition to the adverse effects on public or private healthcare systems, medication noncompliance significantly impacts the profitability of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Changing Traditional Business Models

Increasing cost pressures on healthcare systems and pharma companies from the market or policymakers, stringent regulatory requirements, and progressive digitalisation are massively changing traditional business models. From a blockbuster-driven past, a clear trend towards a pharma industry increasingly committed to producing value-added pharmaceuticals is now visibly emerging. Outcome-based drug pricing may help the pharma industry justify expensive therapies that often cost thousands of euros or dollars a month. On the other hand, healthcare systems are looking for ways to become more efficient by only paying the costs of medicines with proven positive effects. In this context, patient behaviour is of particular importance, as adherence to the prescribed medication decisively contributes to therapy, as well as, ultimately, economic success in clinical trials and commercial products.

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Mathias Held is Business Development Manager for Patient Compliance Monitoring Solutions at Schreiner MediPharm, a business unit of Schreiner Group. He is in charge of developing new markets and business opportunities with a strong focus on smart packaging. Mathias has a degree in media technology from the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
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