As an initiative of the UMCG, 18 November has been declared National Day of Therapy Adherence for the coming years. Today, the UMCG will start with the center of expertise that will promote therapy adherence, the ‘Medication Adherence Expertise Center of the Northern Netherlands’ (MAECON).
Adherence to therapy means that patients take their medicines in the right way, at the right time and in the right amount as agreed with their healthcare provider. A reduced degree of adherence to therapy leads to an increased risk of new disease and death; it also leads to
higher costs for society. Being and staying true to your medication is only done worldwide by 50% of the people who are prescribed medication.
According to OECD estimates, treatment infidelity has already cost about 200,000 deaths in Europe and 125 billion euros a year in preventable health care costs. In addition, the correct and faithful use of medication is essential for healthy aging and successful new drug trials.
All practice disciplines are united in the new expertise center MAECON: pharmacists, general practitioners, medical specialists, nurses, practice assistants of general practitioners and
researchers. They have a common goal: to promote adherence to therapy. MAECON will conduct research into new methods to measure adherence to therapy. This can be done, for example, with eHealth technologies such as smart inhalers and smart pill strips and jars, but
also via analysis of scalp hair. In addition, MAECON wants to use big data to find out which groups are less adherent to therapy, and students and care providers are trained through education in motivational conversation techniques, communication and shared decision-making regarding drug use.