All About the Box
Patient adherence is a known issue, but what role does packaging play?
Tiffany Overstreet |
Approximately 50 percent of patients with chronic diseases in developed countries do not take their medication as prescribed – a significant problem for both patients themselves and the healthcare sector overall. Shockingly, the percentage is even higher in developing countries. Research in the UK alone shows that non-adherence can cost the National Health Service £500 million a year – broadly equivalent to funding 30,000 kidney transplants or an additional 21,000 qualified nurses.
Patient adherence affects the whole industry, so every stakeholder should do their bit to help. Drug developers, for example, can design medicines that are easy to take with reduced side effects – but that may be easier said than done. So what else can be done to improve adherence? In my view, one of the simplest changes revolves around the practice of packaging design. If we provided patients with more digestible and accessible information on side effects, ingredients and how a treatment actually works, perhaps patients would be more inclined to take medicine adherence seriously because they would better understand that medicines only work if you take them correctly.
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