This site is intended for health professionals only

Heart patients "skip their drugs"

A quarter of coronary patients are skipping drugs prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes, according to findings presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference.

Data from 472 patients found that 29% are not taking anti-clotting drugs regularly and 23% have missed doses of statins. Overall, 26% do not take their drugs as recommended or at all.

Women, older patients and those taking larger numbers of drugs are slightly more likely to take their medicines on schedule, says the research at a GP practice in North East England.

Says Pharmacist Wasim Baqir, from The Village Green Surgery in Sunderland: "Simply prescribing a drug is not enough.

"Doctors and other members of the primary care team, such as pharmacists, need to work with patients so they understand the importance of taking their medicines in the right dose, at the right time."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

British Pharmaceutical Conference