[A brief reference to this item appears in: Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 3 Issue 3, October 2012].
Donepezil delays the progression of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), but the efficacy of pharmacotherapy may be reduced by poor adherence. Better adherence to pharmacotherapy maximises its effect. The Donepezil Outpatient Consultation Service (DOCS) was set up in Japan to improve medication adherence by providing information about AD and the significance of pharmacotherapy.
This article assessed the influence of this service on medication persistence by enrolling 59 patients before the establishment of DOCS (i.e. the non-DOCS group) and 52 patients who attended DOCS (the DOCS group). Each patient’s and their caregiver’s understanding about the clinical features of AD and pharmacotherapy with donepezil were also assessed. Their understanding was compared before and after DOCS, and the 1-year medication persistence rate was measured.
The 1-year medication persistence rate was significantly higher in the DOCS group than in the non-DOCS group. The DOCS consultation provided by hospital pharmacists for AD patients and their caregivers improved overall understanding significantly. The main reported reasons for discontinuation of donepezil were transfer elsewhere and gastrointestinal side effects.
Watanabe, N. Yamamura, K. [and] Suzuki, Y. [et al] (2012). Pharmacist-based Donepezil Outpatient Consultation Service to improve medication persistence. Patient Preference and Adherence, August 28th 2012; 6: pp.605-611.