How do we Encourage Patients to Continue Taking their Medicines?

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David Peña Castillo, president and founder of the Mexican Federation of Rare Diseases (FEMEXER), addresses the problem of patients deserting therapies.

 

In Mexico, approximately 15 percent of patients treated with therapies for rare diseases, dismiss the concept of adherence to treatments.

In Latin American Countries such as Mexico, keeping patients in adherence to treatments is of singular importance.

 

On many occasions, patients cease to receive treatment when they see improvement because they no longer see it as necessary, which is of course counterproductive.

 

So, what should we do to encourage patients to continue their therapies without interruptions?

 

We must properly inform patients about the obligations that arise from their condition. This is a key tool to ensure that our patients do not underestimate their condition through self-diagnosis.

 

In Mexico, approximately 15 percent of patients treated with therapies for rare diseases, dismiss the concept of adherence to treatments.

 

It is important to note that it is in the rural and mountain regions where the highest level of desertion in patients is observed.

Unfortunately, in this misunderstanding they lose their rights, relapse into the disease and, most seriously of all, in some cases, begin to resist the drug due to their continuous interruptions.

 

For more than five years, Project Make a Wish Mexico (PPuDM) and FEMEXER have been developing an Agenda that seeks to reinforce the importance of continuing prescribed treatments with information and testimonies from experts.

 

It has not been an easy task as a lack of education and accurate information governs the decisions of our patients and what they believe or assume. We have seen the waiver of treatment at levels of between 10 and 15 percent and we hope to reverse that situation in the next two years to zero defections.

 

It is important to note that it is in the rural and mountainous regions where the highest level of desertion in patients is observed.  Of course, this is due to the geographical conditions, distance and lack of means of transport. All of these factors make it very difficult for patients to go to the centres they should attend.

 

This situation is highly complicated because our country does have the road, transport and logistical infrastructure that can bring our Patients closer to the institutions responsible for monitoring them and providing the medical assessment they require.

 

We have not yet found a solution to this problem. We hope that the new government takes into account this kind of labyrinth to healthcare access that affects those who need it the most because of their poverty, lack of education and lack of adequate information.

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