Santander, September 8th 2016– Farmaindustria’s President, Antoni Esteve, has assured today, during the XVI Spanish Pharmaceutical Industry meeting held at the Menéndez Pelayo University in Santander that, “it is necessary that our National Healthcare System comes up with a plan for patient adherence to treatment that relies on the engagement with and support of all agents, since this is the only way to combat the lack of adherence to medicine which creates serious health problems and expensive economic waste”. His comments were made during his opening speech at this event, which this year was supported by the participation of Cantabria’s Regional Health Counselor, María Luisa Real; UIMP’s Dean, César Nombela; and Félix Lobo, Professor of Applied Economics at the Carlos III University, in Madrid, who also directed the meeting.
As a matter of fact, this edition of the now traditional summer course which is organized by the International University Menéndez Pelayo, in collaboration with the Carlos III University and Farmaindustria’s sponsorship, will today and tomorrow centre around this topic: compliance to medical treatments in Spain. On this occasion, not only was the low level of treatment compliance highlighted, but participants also took the time to analyze and debate the foundations of a Plan for Treatment Compliance in which the Association, together with scientific societies, experts and patients representatives has been working on for the past months. Their advances were also presented to the healthcare professional societies (Medical Council, Pharmacists Council, Nurses Council), regional health authorities and Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equity.
The effectiveness and efficiency of a treatment not only lies within the correct prescribing and access guarantee to the medicine, but also within the correct carrying out of treatments. Just like Farmaindustria’s President pointed out, “this lack of compliance plays an essential role both in the progression of the diseases and their complications. For example, the possible reduction of functional capabilities, the loss of quality of life, the reduction of productive ability or even in an increased mortality rate”.
The challenge is really quite considerable. According to the figures shown by a survey undertaken as the basis for the Plan, half of Spanish chronic patients do not adequately comply with pharmacological treatment they are given. This survey, whose main results were released last week by Farmaindustria, show that the profile of the least compliant patient correspond to an individual under 65 years old, living in a big city and with secondary or higher education.
“This is not a specific circumstance affecting those with a low level of education, nor is it associated with the difficulty in monitoring or distrust in the effectiveness of medicines, but it is generated by a worrying lack of awareness, which increases within the middle and higher social classes”, Esteve pointed out. For this reason, the Plan intends to reach out as far as necessary, influencing education and training as part of the guarantee for its success.
Thus, just as it was presented in the meeting, the Plan is supported by five pillars: making the population aware of the importance of compliance, establishing a program of therapeutic adherence, reducing the complexity of the therapeutic regime, increasing self management and patients’ empowerment as well as implementing an information system for therapeutic compliance.
Each of these pillars relies on its own strategy, action lines and analyzing of results, of which, all of them are based on a common foundation which is optimizing the process of medical prescription so as to foster adherence.
To achieve these results, the Plan is based on the coordination of a series of measures engaging all levels and healthcare professionals (from the prescribing doctor to pharmacists and nurses) within a strategy which needs the active intervention of healthcare authorities and, needless to say, the one from the patient himself, playing a leading role.
The meeting in Santander will provide a space to present and corroborate the different aspects making up the Plan. After months of work in which more than twenty scientific societies, experts and patients’ representatives have participated, this will be the point to open a new phase in which, alongside healthcare authorities and professional Councils, new alternatives to set up and develop this initiative will be explored. In fact, representatives from the Spanish Ministry of Health and regional healthcare authorities, as well as the Presidents of the Spanish professional Councils were present at the Santander gathering: Juan José Rodríguez Sendín (doctors), Jesús Aguilar (pharmacists) and Máximo González Jurado (nurses).
With regards to the role of the pharmaceutical industry as the leading force of a Plan which engages the whole of the sector, Esteve concluded that, “as an essential agent belonging to the healthcare sector, we are concerned about the responsible use of medicines. There is no other option as medicines are our reason for being and their true benefits depend on its adequate use. This is why we are aware of our responsibility in this field, and we are willing to engage in deeper levels of commitment”.