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Synchronising drugs best

Beginning different types of drugs at the same time can dramatically improve patient compliance, new research reveals.

A study of more than 15,000 patients in the US found patients were much more likely to take antihypertensive and lipid-lowering drugs when their initiation was synchronised.

Initiating lipid-lowering drugs first produced 45 per cent compliance at two months and 31 per cent at 12 months. Starting patients on antihypertensives gave compliance of 59 and 31 per cent respectively.

But when both therapies were initiated together, 75 per cent of patients were compliant at two months and 34 per cent at 12 months.

Professor Sanford Schwartz, a researcher on the study and professor of medicine, health care management and economics at the University of Pennsylvania, said: 'Synchronous initiation is a key predictor of patient adherence, probably due to a more convenient schedule of refilling concomitant medications.'

The research was presented at the seventh Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in Washington last month.

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