Drugmakers, patients, doctors, pharmacists and politicians have met up in Europe to push for a more co-ordinated approach to improve poor adherence to taking medicines.

At a debate held at the European Parliament in Brussels, MEP Linda McAvan noted that in the European Union alone, "194,500 deaths each year are due to misdose of and non-adherence to prescribed medication". She added that "poor adherence carries a huge cost, both in terms of patient safety and quality of life. It also presents a serious problem for health systems, both in terms of inferior health outcomes, unnecessary treatments and hospitalisations".

__Przemyslaw Kardas from the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, noted that when long-term medication is needed, "50% of patients fail to adhere to the prescribed regimen”. As such, "adherence-enhancing interventions should be adopted as a routine part of normal care, and provided to every patient". __

Richard Bergstrom, director-general of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), said better adherence "will contribute to better health outcomes and support sustainable healthcare systems in times of economic constraints". He added that EFPIA "wishes to encourage more data gathering and evaluation, encourage best-practice sharing and involve all relevant stakeholders. A medicine that is sold but not taken is a waste for everyone - only cost and no benefit”. __

The meeting ended with calls for setting up information and awareness campaigns and using EU funds to implement adherence intervention.