Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Factors Associated with Medication Non-Adherence

J Dermatol Treat; ePub 2017 Aug 18; Rutherford, et al

Medication class or administration route may be associated with increased risk of non-adherence, and identifying these factors is important in considering ways to reduce primary non-adherence rates in dermatology, a recent study found. Researchers conducted a retrospective review of medical records of new dermatology patients from January 2011 to December 2013 at a single urban safety-net hospital outpatient dermatology clinic with a closed pharmacy system. A total of 4,307 prescriptions were written for 2,490 patients. They found:

  • The overall primary non-adherence rate was 24.7%.
  • The most prescribed medication classes in order of frequency were topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, topical retinoids, oral antibiotics, and topical antifungals.
  • After multivariable adjustment for patient, provider, and prescription characteristics, when compared to topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, oral antifungals, and oral antivirals were less likely to be filled.
  • Conversely, topical vitamin D analogs, oral immunomodulators, and oral retinoids were more likely to be filled.


Rutherford A, Glass DA, Suarez EA, Adamson AS. Prescription-level factors associated with primary nonadherence to dermatologic medications. [Published online ahead of print August 18, 2017]. J Dermatol Treat. doi:10.1080/09546634.2017.1365115.

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