Enhancing Respiratory Medication Adherence: The Role of Health Care Professionals and Cost-Effectiveness Considerations

Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Job F M van Boven, Dermot Ryan, Michelle N Eakin, Giorgio W Canonica, Aji Barot, Juliet M Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Adherence to medication comprises a multiphased temporal process involving (1) initiation of prescribed therapy, (2) implementation as prescribed, and (3) subsequent persistence. Medication adherence remains suboptimal in most patients with long-term respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Interventions have been shown to effectively improve treatment initiation, implementation, and persistence when delivered at the health care professional level or the system level, but demonstration of the cost-effectiveness of these interventions is necessary to ensure their widespread use. This review summarizes how health care professionals can intervene to improve medication adherence in patients with asthma and COPD, provides some examples of effective primary care interventions, and illustrates some of the challenges to optimal implementation arising from cost-effectiveness modeling. Improving adherence is shown to be an economically viable treatment option for patients with asthma and COPD, but there are differences in the health economics pertaining to each condition and setting that can affect whether an intervention is considered cost-effective. Targeting adherence interventions at patients with the greatest to gain, and tailoring them to individual patient needs, may help to optimize cost-effectiveness ratios and improve the probability of positive reimbursement decisions, systemwide implementation, and resultant health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-46
Number of pages12
JournalThe journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2016


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