Medical Non-Adherence Can Be Deadly For Epileptics - Health Care Industry Urged To Promote Working Adherence Strategies
A new study published in "Neurology" shows that medical non-compliance in relation to anti-epileptic drugs increases mortality risks threefold
New Haven, CT - September 22, 2008 - Even though those suffering from epilepsy are benefiting from a number of modern medications and treatments, a study published online in the medical journal Neurology on June 18 concluded that medical adherence is instrumental in successfully treating the disease and keeping patients healthy.
The study, which was conducted at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, reported that patients who took their anti-seizure medications less than 80 percent of the time greatly increased their risk of death as well their number of visits to the emergency room due to seizure-related accidents such as car crashes. Earlier studies have show that 30 to 50 percent of those with epilepsy do not practice medical adherence.
The authors of the study urged everyone involved with epilepsy patients to promote adherence strategies in order to save lives.
"Our results highlight the potential ramifications of non-adherence to AEDs," first author Edward Faught, MD, director of the University of Alabama Epilepsy Center said. "In order to better protect patients, it is vital for us to understand what factors drive non-adherence and for clinicians, payers, and drug innovators to use this knowledge to promote treatment strategies for epilepsy that offer increased likelihood of adherence."
With other data suggesting that 84% of medical non-adherence is due to forgetfulness, customized medical reminder systems are playing an ever-increasing role in paving the road toward permanent and positive behavior modification among those with epilepsy.
"This study is yet another example of how rampant medical non-adherence is, and of how dire the consequences of not taking your medication consistently can be," said Kevin Aniskovich, Chief Executive of the healthcare information technology company Intelecare. "This is a call to arms for providers, payors, manufacturers, and health care services companies to work together to promote education, increase awareness and maximize utilization of adherence solutions - without exception."
The epilepsy study involved 33,658 patients over 18 whose records were logged into a Medicaid claims database from January 1997 to June 2006. All of the patients were on two or more anti-epilepsy drugs including carbamazepine, ethosuximide, felbamate, gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, pregabalin, primidone, tiagabine, topiramate, valproic acid, and zonisamide.
"There are many reasons epileptic patients fail to take their seizure mediations, including cost, side effects, and pregnancy," Faught said. "But this study suggests that none of those reasons overshadow the threat of death or other problems related to uncontrolled seizures."
Established in 2005, Intelecare Compliance Solutions is a privately owned healthcare information technology company that provides an array of practical tools and services promoting medical adherence. With 84 percent of patients reporting forgetfulness as the major cause of non-compliance, and with the healthcare system suffering over $300 billion in costs annually due to non-compliance, Intelecare's solutions enable patients and caregivers alike to keep track of medications, doses, and doctor's appointments through the standard telephone, mobile devices, and email - all while keeping simplicity, practicality, and innovation at the heart of its developments.
Aside from individual end-user services, Intelecare provides and manages a suite of scalable services for insurers, employers, retail pharmacies, non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Intelecare is dedicated to finding functional solutions to the widespread issue of medical non-compliance for individuals around the world that work the way people live.
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