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New NHS-registered service tackles poor adherence with statin therapy

New NHS-registered service tackles poor adherence with statin therapy

Publication date: Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

Data analysis of patients’ prescriptions dispensed at a regional chain of community pharmacies found that 40% of patients who are prescribed statins never return for a second prescription.

Although in most cases being prescribed for lifetime treatment, many people stop taking them as they do not see any immediate benefit. Linda Main from HEART UK – The Cholesterol Charity - says that often the media misinformation surrounding statins puts people off taking them: “Patients are often too quick to blame any new symptoms developed whilst taking a statin, on the statin itself. But many of the reports of statin induced side effects are unlikely to be caused by the statin”.

She added: “A common side effect reported by statin users are muscular aches and pains. It’s natural to associate symptoms with a new drug but we all get muscle aches from time to time especially as we get older, so it’s difficult to know if they are due to medication or just to do with everyday life.”

PillTime is a free online NHS registered pharmacy for patients on multiple medications for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. PillTime pre-packs medications in easy to open pouches, clearly marked with the correct date and time of when the dose should be taken. About 30% of PillTime patients are on statins and the service’s founder, Paul Mayberry, stressed the importance of patient adherence: “Patients not taking their prescribed statins not only risk increased health problems but also put an increased cost and strain on the NHS.”

More information

For more information about the PillTime pouch system visit
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Category: Have You Heard
Edition: Volume 2 Number 11 PCCJ Online 2017
Contributor(s): Jeremy Bray

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