Noncompliance is a major problem in medical care. Unfortunately, it is common for patients to not take their medications as prescribed. Many miss doses while some run out of their medication and fail to go to the pharmacy for a timely refill. Even more common and concerning are patients who fail to follow-up with their physician after being on a specific medicwation despite specific directions to do so.
Medications are administered in many different ways and may require multiple dosing; some as frequently as every two hours. Whether orally (by pill or liquid), inhalation, topically or via injection, it is estimated that upwards of 50 percent of patients are noncompliant. For some patients, compliance is difficult, since they are prescribed many different pills throughout the day. Studies have shown that medications requiring once or twice daily dosing tend to have good compliance, but that percentage drops significantly with more frequent dosing requirements. In addition, the more medications one takes, the less compliant they tend to be.