Objective: Older people receive medications for chronic diseases and therefore adherence is an important health and economic concern. The objective of the study is to determine relationships between pharmacist, patient and patient's family physician with special emphasis on the comparison of adherent and non-adherent patients.
Methods: The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey by use of a self-administered 33-item questionnaire. The study included 635 individuals collecting or buying drugs for the treatment of chronic diseases and 84 pharmacists dispensing drugs for chronic diseases to patients.
Results: The study included 265 (41.7%) adherent, and 370 (58.3%) non-adherent patients. Comparison of particular answers between patients and pharmacists revealed a discrepancy, with a significant difference in five of eight answers. The highest difference was recorded in answers to the question whether a pharmacist offered thorough advice to the patient on how to take the drug; an affirmative answer to this question was given by 90.5% of pharmacists and only 57.2% of patients. The analysis of respondents’ claims about their relation with one doctor shows that in the first place, with the highest number of positive responses, is the claim of the respondents that their doctor always explains the results of laboratory tests and other specialized findings (n= 489, 77.0%).
Conclusion: Enhancing communication between the physician, the pharmacist and the patient is a key in boosting the patient's ability to follow a medication regimen. Pharmacist-physician-patient relationship can improve adherence to medication. It is very important to empower pharmacists to offer and allow time for patient counselling.