Electronic Pill-Box Identifies Noncompliance That Doctors Miss
Research Presented At The Annual American Society Of Hypertension Meeting
New York, May 21, 1999--Michel Burnier, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, today presented research findings at the American Society of Hypertension annual meeting indicating that noncompliance with prescribed antihypertensive drugs is responsible for approximately half the failures of drug treatment to bring high blood pressure down to normal levels.
Hypertension affects one out of four American adults and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. High blood pressure can usually be controlled by various types of antihypertensive drugs, provided that they are taken correctly, yet failure of prescribed drugs to control blood pressure is a frequently occurring problem in treating hypertension. While it is well known that patient noncompliance interferes with effective drug action, new findings by Dr. Burnier show that clinically unrecognized noncompliance is responsible for approximately half the cases of uncontrolled hypertension. Positive identification of noncompliance was made by use of a special electronic medication container, called the eDEM Monitor.
"Without the electronic measure of each patient's drug intake, it is impossible
on clinical grounds alone to identify whether a patient is taking the prescribed
medicine correctly," said Dr. Burnier. "When treatment fails to control the
blood pressure, a stronger medicine should be prescribed, but if the patient is
not complying properly, prescribing a stronger medicine is pointless and costly.
Until we had the electronic monitor, most cases of noncompliance went
undetected and stronger drugs were mistakenly prescribed. Now we not only
identify noncompliance, but we also have data on patients' daily dosing
patterns. That is essential information for helping patients achieve good
Contact: Heather Regan