Noncompliance Lowers Treatment Effectiveness

December 23, 2010

According to a new study presented at the annual congress of the European Academy for Dermatology and Venereology, compliance with topical dermatologic therapies is worse than most physicians realize. Through a series of Danish studies, Dr. Jorgen Serup, Professor of Dermatology at Copenhagen University, and his colleagues concluded that one in three new prescriptions for creams and ointments for dermatologic diseases is never picked up. Dr. Serup estimates that only one in five patients truly follow treatment advice. For one year, Serup and his colleagues examined all new prescriptions for previously untried medications and found that 31% of atopic dermatitis patients never collected their medication. Other issues the team identified: inadequate application of topical treatments, failure to show up for scheduled appointments, and poor physician-patient communication. On an optimistic note, Dr. Serup believes mobile phones and other modern tools can be better utilized to boost compliance among dermatology patients.

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