Over 25% of patients with acne did not obtain medications prescribed by their dermatologists, according to a survey by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers.

The study found that of the 143 patients who participated, 27% failed to get all of their medications (both prescription and over-the-counter). Non-adherence was defined as not obtaining a medication or not using it. 

Patients who were prescribed two medications demonstrated the highest rate of primary non-adherence at 40%, followed by those prescribed three or more medications (31%), and those prescribed one medication (9%). Researchers found no statistically significant difference in non-adherence rates by age or gender across the treatment-number groups. 

Findings also showed that topical medication prescriptions are less likely to be filled than oral medications. In addition, over-the-counter products are less likely to be purchased than prescription drugs, and paper prescriptions were less likely to be filled than electronic prescriptions. These findings were not statistically significant, study authors noted.

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Some patient explanations offered for not getting their prescriptions filled included: cost, forgetfulness, having similar medication on hand, not agreeing with prescribed treatment, and skin condition improvement. Future studies should study these various factors to understand patients’ non-adherence to prescribed treatment. 

 For more information visit WakeHealth.edu.