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Intuitive Packaging

Hans-Erik Gording at Bang & Olufsen Medicom asks, can medical device enhancement of packaging really improve patient outcomes?

“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” This well known quotation from former US Surgeon General C Everett Coop may state the obvious, but the impact and consequences of noncompliance are both widespread and far reaching. The WHO report on adherence to long-term treatments, published in 2003, showed that approximately half of all medications prescribed for chronic illnesses, such as hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, was not taken appropriately. This has a huge impact on all stakeholders, be it the patient, the healthcare providers or society as a whole.

WHAT IS PATIENT COMPLIANCE?

Drug regime compliance is defined as the degree of correspondence between actual dosing history and the prescribed regimen. This means that the administration-intake of a correct dose of the drug must take place at a defined time (compliance), and that the patient will continue doing so for the whole period of treatment (persistence). Typically, patients will accommodate dosing intake time within their routine, and can frequently forget to take medication.

COMPLIANCE MONITORING

Compliance monitoring is an important factor in both clinical trials and everyday intake of medication. However, clinical papers report an alarming discrepancy between patient reported and actual medication compliance and, as such, electronic monitoring of patient compliance is widely accepted as the gold standard (1), although it is frequently not applied in clinical trials. Good knowledge and improvement of patient compliance can have a significant effect on patient outcomes in clinical trials. In addition, higher compliance rates can significantly reduce the required sample size, number of study sites and, potentially, the duration of clinical studies from first patient in to last patient out. The following methods are used in monitoring patient compliance.

Compliance monitoring is an important factor in both clinical trials and everyday intake of medication. However, clinical papers report an alarming discrepancy between patient reported and actual medication compliance and, as such, electronic monitoring of patient compliance is widely accepted as the gold standard (1), although it is frequently not applied in clinical trials. Good knowledge and improvement of patient compliance can have a significant effect on patient outcomes in clinical trials. In addition, higher compliance rates can significantly reduce the required sample size, number of study sites and, potentially, the duration of clinical studies from first patient in to last patient out. The following methods are used in monitoring patient compliance.

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Hans-Erik Gording is an International Key Account Manager at Bang & Olufsen Medicom, an associated medical device technology company of the Danish audio visual group Bang & Olufsen. Hans-Erik joined Bang & Olufsen Medicom in 2005, following 10 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry working within sales, training, key opinion leader development and business development roles.
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