Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTITUDES TO MEDICATION IN LIPID-LOWERING THERAPY PATIENT CO-OPERATION - PERSISTENCE AND COMPLIANCE]

NAGY László

JULY 14, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(06-07)

[Controlled clinical studies on statins have produced evidence that the aggressive lowering of LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) level reduces the mortality rate of ischaemic heart disease. About 40% of treated patients achieve the cholesterol target level. The observance of medication instructions on a daily basis (compliance) and willingness for long-term taking of the drug (persistence) are crucially important to avoid severe complications. In the long term, patients take only about 50% of their medicines according to the instructions. As a result of the generally poor compliance and persistence in taking the medications, the decrease in morbidity and mortality observed in clinical studies do not occur under real-life conditions. Patients with poor compliance (<80%) will experience only a minimal health benefit and the cost-effectiveness of the therapy will markedly decrease. For patients with poor persistence who discontinue their treatment before benefits at the clinical endpoints could manifest, the resources invested into the therapy will be lost. Both compliance and persistence deteriorate as the number of concurrently taken medicines increases. Since less than 50% of the programmes aimed at improving patient co-operation are successful, therapeutic decisions should preferably be made by taking into consideration the expected compliance/persistence already at the time of choosing the medication. By widening the use of fixed-dose combination therapies, the efficiency of treatment can substantially be increased in patients who concurrently take several medicines and require aggressive lowering of blood pressure or LDL-C level.]

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