Only 1 in 3 people who were prescribed medications for hypertension and hyperlipidemia continued to take them after 6 months
“The researchers found that several factors were associated with the likelihood that patients would keep taking the medicines.
At the top was the number of other prescription drugs already being taken. The higher the number the greater the chance that the patients would stop the new medicines. So the researchers suggested that doctors consider stopping some prescriptions.
The study also found that when the blood pressure and cholesterol drugs were prescribed near the same time, the compliance was greater.”
Consider the amount of medications you need after one has a heart attack: aspirin or Plavix, a beta-blocker, an ace-inhibitor, and a statin. All 4 medications have been shown to be life saving post-MI. If you have diabetes on top of that, that’s another 1-3 potential medications.
As newer medications come into play – more patients are going to be saddled with “must-take” medications. Systolic congestive heart failure is a good example. Way back when, we used to treat this with digoxin and diuretics. Now, a typical regimen would include an ace-inhibitor, beta-blocker, spironolactone (in severe cases), and then perhaps digoxin.
There is only a mortality benefit if the patient takes the mediation. The advent of combination pills may be an answer to help compliance.