A trial undertaken by Boots UK and the Department of Health’s behavioural insights team looking at ways to improve medicines adherence has received an Ogilvy Change 2017 Nudge Award.

The randomised control trial looked at the use of patient commitment messages in relation to the New Medicines Service (NMS), with results showing a statistically significant improvement in medicines adherence. The work has received an award for ‘most effective intervention’ from the Ogilvy Change 2017 Nudge Award, which recognises excellence in the behavioural sciences.

Improved adherence

The study included 16,191 patients in 254 Boots pharmacies across London. It found that patients who were asked to sign a pre-commitment sticker when first collecting their prescription from their local pharmacy were significantly more likely to adhere to their medication than a control group. The sticker, which was designed to be affixed to medicine packaging, warned of the health consequences of non-adherence. 

Improved medication adherence can deliver many positive health outcomes, Boots UK says, including reduced hospital admissions. It can also help reduce medicines wastage and promote Yellow Card reporting, the company says. 

Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK, said: “With over half of patients in the UK not taking their medicines as prescribed, this important research supports improved medicines adherence, and is a brilliant example of a simple yet robust academic trial that has been achieved through collaboration between pharmacies, academics and the government.

“Through partnership working more trials of this kind could continue and even more patients start to feel empowered and confident to be in control of taking their medicines.”

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