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One third of people are not taking enough of their prescriptions to cure them

This figure gets worse for people with long-term illnesses as a report found they are often struggling with the cost of their treatment regime.

Image: pill image via Shutterstock

IT IS ESTIMATED that up to 30 per cent of patients are not finishing their prescriptions, or even taking enough of the drug to relieve symptoms and cure them and drug prices are a key factor.

Up to 40 per cent of people fail to follow a proper medication regime to prevent health problems. This data was highlighted in a report published by the IPPOSI yesterday.

The report was put together after a roundtable discussion over the summer with the Secretary General, key stakeholders, patients and patients groups.

Eibhlin Mulroe, CEO of IPPOSI told TheJournal.ie that worrying data shows failure to take medication for Irish patients with osteoporosis or those in remission for breast cancer is actually worse with up to 50 per cent of people with long-term illnesses failing to adhere to treatment.

There is a number of reasons for this and psychology becomes a part of it – it’s a reminder that they have cancer to take that pill, for example or there are side effects. Cost can be a factor and we had people with asthma telling us they wanted their inhaler to last them a month and that’s just not good for them.

“We don’t have evidence of this ourselves but certainly all of the patients organisations have examples of that,” she said. “I think it’s very much the case for people paying for their prescriptions.”

“It’s an unsavoury element of the recession and the economic climate we’re in,” she added.

The report recommended the establishment of a specific body to be formed to address the issue of medication and treatment requirement. There was also an agreement that specific and detailed Irish research was needed examining issues behind compliance failure as well as a focus on improving patient understanding.

Read: Irish people warming up to generic medicines>

Read: People more likely to take preventive medications combined in a single pill>

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