Variation In Prescribing And Medication Compliance

Prescribing may vary by patient factors that are independent of need or disease severity. For example, the variation of use of hormone replacement therapy by socio-economic status independent of need (Evans et al., 1997a). Compliance to labelled medication direction or therapy is a related issue. By assessing how patients collect dispensed medication, in terms of numbers of prescriptions dispensed and intervals between them, and linking to outcome data sets, patient compliance or non-compliance to medication can be studied. For example, a study in diabetes showed that adolescents in Tayside who have "brittle" diabetes are often non-compliant with insulin (Morris et al., 1997b).

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