Study reveals high levels of non-adherence to acne treatments

Recent study shows that 27% of 143 patients prescribed therapy for acne (in the image, a young person with acne vulgaris) did not collect all their prescribed medicines.

Treatment outcomes depend on adherence to the prescribed regimen. A survey published in JAMA Dermatology
(online, 20 March 2015) reveals that 27% of 143 patients prescribed therapy for acne did not collect all their prescribed medicines; this figure was higher than the previously reported rate of 10%.

Levels of non-adherence varied according to the number of treatments prescribed, from 9% in those prescribed just one treatment to 40% for those prescribed two treatments. Patients were more likely to fill electronic prescriptions than paper prescriptions and less likely to adhere to treatment with topical retinoids and over-the-counter medicines than other treatments.

“Simplifying treatment regimens by prescribing products that contain two or more active ingredients could prove effective in reducing non-adherence,” the researchers suggest.


[1] Anderson KL, Dothard EH, Huang KE et al. Frequency of primary nonadherence to acne treatment. JAMA Dermatology 2015. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.5254.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 4/11 April 2015, Vol 294, No 7856/7;294(7856/7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068229

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