FEBRUARY 01, 2007

A new survey found a significant disconnect between patients' beliefs and their behaviors when it comes to taking medication correctly.

A survey of 1000 adults showed that 64% believed they follow their physician's instructions "extremely closely." In reality, the survey found, 74% admitted some form of nonadherent behavior. The survey's key findings as reported by respondents:

•49% reported forgetting to take a prescribed medication

•24% had taken less than the prescribed dosage

•11% had substituted an OTC medication instead of filling a prescription

The results were not all negative, however. The findings indicated that patients were willing to use the expertise of their pharmacist in order to improve medication adherence. The survey found:

•83% agreed that pharmacists can play a role in improving adherence by helping ensure that patients take their prescription medications correctly

•68% reported that pharmacists are more knowledgeable when it comes to information about prescription medication

•86% said they would likely talk to their pharmacist about their medications

The findings were released by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Pharmacists for the Protection of Patient Care.