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Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication
Date:6/28/2013

50 per cent of prescriptions covered only 7 days.
  • More than 80 per cent of patients had a follow-up appointment within one month, regardless of prescription length.

    "The majority of patients in our study left hospital with a prescription for cardiac medications for 30 days or less," said Dr. Ivers. "This may be a result of the common clinical perception that short prescriptions encourage patients to go to their followup appointments, yet our study found regardless of the duration of the prescription, nearly all patients did, in fact, attend their followup appointment."

    Short prescriptions may inadvertently suggest to patients and family physicians alike that long-term adherence isn't necessary, the authors suggest.

    "When we reduce the requirement for early refills, patients still follow up with their family physician or cardiologist and they are more likely to remain on the medications as well, Dr. Ivers said. "We certainly want to encourage early outpatient follow up after hospitalization, but holding medications ransom may not be the best way to do it."

    Modifying the length of a prescription is an easy fix, Dr. Ivers adds.

    "Forcing elderly patients to frequently visit their cardiologist or family physician to renew prescriptions is only exacerbating the problem," he said. "While dosage adjustments are sometimes required, increasing the duration of a prescription for cardiac patients can easily be done, leading to significant benefits for patients."


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  • Contact: Julie Saccone
    julie.saccone@wchospital.ca
    416-323-6400 x4054
    Women's College Hospital
    Source:Eurekalert

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