Use of general practice prescribing data as a surrogate estimate of statin compliance

S. Kaur, C.A. Langley, M. Nahal, P. Clewes, J.F. Marriott, K.A. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Background and Objective: To maximise the benefit from statin therapy, patients must maintain regular therapy indefinitely. Non-compliance is thought to be common in those taking medication at regular intervals over long periods of time, especially where they may perceive no immediate benefit (News editorial, 2002). This study extends previous work in which commonly held prescribing data is used as a surrogate marker of compliance and was designed to examine compliance in those stabilised on statins in a large General Practice.
Design: Following ethical approval, details of all patients who had a single statin for 12 consecutive months with no changes in drug, frequency or dose, between December 1999 and March 2003, were obtained.
Setting: An Eastern Birmingham Primary Care Trust GP surgery.
Main Outcome Measures: A compliance ratio was calculated by dividing the number of days treatment by the number of doses prescribed. For a once daily regimen the ratio for full compliance_1.
Results: 324 patients were identified. The average compliance ratio for the first six months of the study was 1.06 ± 0.01 (range 0.46 – 2.13) and for the full twelve months was 1.05 ± 0.01 (range 0.58 – 2.08). Conclusions: The data shown here indicates that as a group, long-term, stabilised statin users appear compliant. However, the range of values obtained show that there are identifiable subsets of patients who are not taking their therapy as prescribed. Although the apparent use of more doses than prescribed in some patients may result from medication hording, this cannot be the case in the patients who apparently take less. It has been demonstrated here that the compliance ratio can be used as an early indicator of problems allowing targeted compliance advice can be given where it will have the most benefit.
References: News Editorial. Pharmacy records could be used to enhance statin compliance in elderly. Pharm. J. 2002; 269: 121.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A57
Number of pages1
JournalPharmacy World and Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004
Event32nd European Symposium on Clinical Pharmacy Pharmacists in the Health-Care Team: Standards of Practice and Systems of Care - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 29 Oct 20031 Nov 2003


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