From Medscape Special Reports

Special Report: The Noncompliance Epidemic

January 19, 2014

Why Are So Many Patients Noncompliant?
Up to 75% of adults don't take their medications as intended, a problem that is now among the most pressing in healthcare. The reasons why are often surprising -- and surprisingly complex.

Can We Get Patients to Be More Compliant?
Give patients drugs for free? Pay them to stay on their regimens? The healthcare industry is exploring lots of ways to improve compliance and keep costs from going through the roof.

Documenting Noncompliance Won't Protect You Anymore
No matter how unfair, you may face a malpractice risk when patients don't follow your treatment recommendations. The way you document their nonadherence could make or break you in a trial.

Best Ways to Deal With Noncompliant Patients
As pay for performance becomes more entrenched, doctors may be held responsible for noncompliant patients.

Noncompliance With Schizophrenia Therapy Usually Persists
Patients with schizophrenia often discontinue medications soon after initiation, and don't return to compliance, new research shows.

Patients: 'Difficult,' 'Tough,' or Just Misunderstood?
A family physician sees the difference between patients who are difficult vs noncompliant, vs causing problems for the practice. He tells how to treat each group most effectively.

Why Some Patients Aren't Following Your Instructions
Even educated patients can't always understand what you're telling them to do, and some patients who can't read are expert at hiding what they don't know. Here's how to tell what's really going on.

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Editor's Note

Doctors are often frustrated by patients who don't take their medicine and ignore treatment instructions. The healthcare industry, insurers, and pharmacists are all taking important steps to improve patient adherence. These articles describe developments likely to help with patient adherence -- and what your role should be.
- Leslie Kane, Editorial Director, Medscape Business of Medicine LKane@webmd.net