Biset, N. et al. (2018) Assessment of medication adherence and responsible use of isotretinoin and contraception through Belgian community pharmacies by using pharmacy refill data. Patient Preference and Adherence 12 153–161.
Purpose: The aims of the study were to evaluate medication adherence and the influencing factors for isotretinoin and contraception (oral, patches, and rings) and to evaluate the concomitant use of contraception and isotretinoin.
Methods: Reimbursed prescription data from January 2012 to August 2015 of all patients in Belgium were received from Pharmanet–National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance. Medication adherence was measured according to the medication possession ratio. The influence of gender and age was analyzed using the Mann–Whitney test and the Spearman coefficient correlation. The independence between adherence to contraception and adherence to isotretinoin was analyzed using the Pearson chi-square test of independence. Persistence was defined as the number of days between initiation and presumed end of treatment. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to plot the medication persistence curves, and the log-rank test was used to compare the curves. The concomitant use of contraception and isotretinoin was analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The medication possession ratio was $0.8 for 46.1% of patients receiving isotretinoin and for 74.0% of women using contraception. For isotretinoin, this percentage decreased as the number of attempts increased (29.8% for the second attempt and 19.8% for more than two attempts). Men seemed more adherent than women, and a weak negative correlation between adherence and age was observed. The adherence data of isotretinoin and contraception were independent. The median persistence for isotretinoin treatment was 139 days (interquartile range 71–209) and was higher for men. Among women between 12 and 21 years old taking isotretinoin, 63.8% received at least one contraceptive prescription. However, 15.7% of women taking isotretinoin adhered to the use of contraception 1 month before, during, and 1 month after treatment.
Conclusion: Medication adherence to isotretinoin and contraception and compliance with the isotretinoin safety recommendation could be improved. Health service interventions, using pharmacy refill data, should be delivered to ensure patient safety and strict adherence to contraception when under isotretinoin treatment.
Keywords: medication possession ratio, persistence, patient safety, pregnancy prevention program