Medication adherence is a critical aspect of clinical trials. It can significantly impact the trial’s outcome and the ability to draw accurate conclusions from the data. Adherence refers to the extent to which a patient follows the prescribed treatment regimen, including taking medication, keeping appointments, and following other recommended therapies.
For a clinical study to be successful, an adherence rate of 80% must be achieved. There are several therapeutic areas where adherence statistics drop well below 80% on average, where a Medication Adherence solution would be immensely beneficial.
Key Therapeutic Areas and Indications for Medication Adherence
Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, often require long-term treatment and management. Studies have shown that medications and therapies have proven to be effective in chronic disease. But full benefits are often not realized because 50% of patients fail to take their medication. ¹ In these trials, adherence is critical to ensure that the treatment is effective and to prevent complications. Patients with chronic diseases may also have multiple comorbidities, which can further complicate treatment and adherence.
Mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, also require long-term treatment. Overall, 49% of mental health patients are non-adherent to their medications, with 56% being non-compliant for depression disorders. ² With mental health disorders impacting one in ten adults, it’s imperative that researchers find a way to maintain adherence during clinical studies to get the treatments to patients who need them.
Oncology trials often involve complex and intense treatment regimens, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. On average, 50% of all oncology patients are non-adherent to their medications. ³ Adherence is critical to oncology studies to ensure the treatment is effective and prevent treatment-related complications. Adherence is also important in clinical trials for targeted therapies and immunotherapies, which have specific dosing and administration requirements.
Infectious disease trials, such as those for HIV and malaria, require adherence to strict treatment regimens to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and prevent resistance to the medication. For HIV specifically, it is required that patients maintain a 95% adherence rate to sustain an undetectable viral load.⁴ Studies have shown adherence as low as 63% in this indication. ⁵ Adherence is also critical in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, particularly in trials involving preventative treatments such as vaccinations.
Pediatric trials also require careful attention to medication adherence as the children’s behavior, development and psychology can differ greatly from adult trials. Parental understanding and cooperation on the importance of the trial and medication regimen is a key factor in adherence. This can be challenging when communicating with children and their caregivers. For the indications listed above, pediatric rates of non-adherence will likely be higher, which can compromise studies for life-saving therapeutics.
In clinical trials, low adherence rates can lead to inaccurate conclusions about the safety and effectiveness of the treatment being studied. It can also lead to treatment failure and complications, particularly in trials for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. To improve adherence in clinical trials, researchers often use a variety of strategies such as simplifying dosing regimens, providing education and support, and using technology to track and remind patients to take their medication.
At Datacubed Health, we know people better than anyone. Our Medication Adherence solution is rooted in neuroeconomics that delivers better retention, compliance, and adherence. We supply you with actionable dashboards so you can address non-compliance when it happens to keep your studies on track and your participants safe. Moreover, our interactive participant app is designed to engage participants making them want to continue self-reporting, which is critical for your data collection.
Discover the Datacubed difference today. Watch this quick demo video and see what we can do for you. When you’re ready, reach out to speak with one of our experts.