What pharmaceutical marketers call “non-adherence” remains one of the industry’s weakest links.

Only around half of medicines for long-term conditions are reportedly taken as prescribed in developed countries – and there is little evidence of any improvement in adherence rates over the past 50 years.

The reasons for non-adherence run the gamut from a patient believing the therapy is no longer effective to the high cost of drugs – and the US pharmaceutical industry forfeits an estimated $250 billion annually in potential revenue due to patients not taking their medications as instructed.

“Poor adherence to treatment plans is common among people with serious respiratory conditions, resulting in increased rates of symptoms and hospitalizations,” Jason Marshall, senior associate director/marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), told delegates at the 2018 Pharma Digital East conference.