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Nationwide Survey Reveals Differing Physician and Patient Perceptions Regarding Impact of Ulcerative Colitis on Patients' Lives
Date:12/7/2007

) reported they had not taken all of their medication in the past week and 41 percent of gastroenterologists (n=300) believed their patients were not adhering to their medications.

Interestingly, 83 percent of patients report they would be willing to change to a new medication if their physician advised that they do so, and 89 percent of patients report that they would be interested in trying a once-daily 5-ASA medication.

According to survey results, some gastroenterologists may underestimate the level of disruption UC can have on patient lives. For example, 42 percent of patients surveyed report symptoms of UC cause some disruption to their everyday activities, while physicians estimate that this is true for just 17 percent of patients.

These physicians and patients also differ in their beliefs on flare frequency. UC patients surveyed report experiencing an average of eight disease flares per year (self-defined: five flares for mild patients, eight flares for moderate patients, and 11 flares for severe patients). Additionally, the frequency of disease flares was underestimated by physicians: 58 percent of gastroenterologists estimate that patients with mild UC will experience only one flare-up per year; 40 percent of gastroenterologists estimate patients with moderate UC will experience two flare-ups per year and 30 percent of gastroenterologists estimate three flare-ups; while 22 percent of gastroenterologists estimate patients with severe UC will experience six or more flare-ups per year.

The authors conclude that many patients find it difficult to adhere to multi-dose medication schedules and have accepted frequent flares, symptoms, and disruptions as normal rather than re-examining their disease management strategies and helping to improve compliance. "Improved physician-patient communication and more convenient medication dosing regimens, such as once-daily formulations, could result in better disease control and we believe, improv
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SOURCE Shire PLC
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