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Adherence, compliance and concordance

Adherence to diabetes treatments falls after a cancer diagnosis

Adherence to glucose lowering therapies in diabetes patients falls following a cancer diagnosis, new research finds


Patients with cancer are less likely to adhere to their diabetes medications after their diagnosis

Patients with both cancer and diabetes have a higher overall mortality rate than patients with a cancer diagnosis alone. So researchers wondered whether a cancer diagnosis affects patient’s adherence to glucose-lowering drugs[1].

They measured the ‘medication possession ratio’ (MPR), by tracking when and how frequently patients refilled their medications, for 3,281 diabetic patients with cancer and 12,891 diabetic patients without cancer. Before a cancer diagnosis, the MPR increased monthly by 0.1% but dropped significantly by 6.3% at diagnosis and continued to fall monthly by 0.2%.

The findings confirm that adherence to glucose-lowering therapies in diabetes patients falls following a cancer diagnosis — but further research is needed to find out why.


Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067755

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