Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, announced it has added medication adherence resources to its consumer health and wellness Web site. With research showing that three-out-of-four Americans fail to take their prescribed medicines as directed, the new resources are designed to help consumers stay on course with their treatment and have better conversations with their health care professionals about the medicines they have been prescribed.
"Medication non-adherence has become a serious public health concern, and is a major reason why patients fail to reach clinical goals," said Sethu Reddy, M.D., vice president, U.S. Medical Affairs, Merck. "We are providing this information to help people understand the importance of taking their medicine as directed."
The resources available on MerckEngage.com include the Adherence Estimator®, a one-minute, evidence-based survey designed by Merck scientists to categorize patients into three groups – those who are at low, medium, or high risk for not adhering to a newly-prescribed medicine. After consumers answer three simple questions regarding their beliefs about a medicine, the tool provides easy to understand, personalized information which may address patient's concerns about taking that medication.
"Merck's research over the past several years shows that health beliefs can be strong predictors of who may or may not take their prescribed medical treatment," said Dr. Reddy. "Our studies point specifically to three health beliefs that are the best predictors: understanding why the medicine is needed and being committed to its use, concern about taking the medicine, and perceived cost issues."
Once identified, the potential barriers of commitment, concern and cost may be addressed through effective dialogue between a consumer and his/her doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.
In addition to the Adherence Estimator, the new site includes a medication worksheet, tips for taking medicine, articles, and links to trusted sites where consumers can find more information about the importance of taking medicines as directed by a health care professional. Other areas of MerckEngage.com offer consumers a broad range of free, simple, personalized health information and resources to help improve healthy living.
"Merck is committed to continuing our focus on scientific research that identifies the reasons why people do not always adhere to their prescribed medicines, and supporting the development of improved interventions that can lead to better outcomes," concluded Dr. Reddy. "We hope these resources will be widely disseminated and used."
For more information, visit: www.MerckEngage.com/RxForHealth.
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[Adherence Estimator® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA. U.S. and non-U.S. patents pending.]