Survey Aims to Improve Medication Adherence with the Help of Pediatricians Nationwide

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The International Association of Compliance is conducting a study to determine the role that taste and palatability play in medication adherence for children. With input from pediatricians, family physicians and nurse care practitioners, the IAMC will be able to determine goals for future initiatives that will help people understand the importance of taking medications properly.

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A current study conducted by the International Association of Medicinal Compliance (IAMC) examines the role of taste masking agents on the improvement of medication adherence in children. By determining the impact of taste on a child's willingness to remain compliant to medication regimens, the IAMC will gain additional insight into the necessity for educational programs that discuss the influence of palatability on adherence. The survey aims to reach over 3,000 pediatricians, family practice physicians and nurse practitioners nationwide, and is available both in hard copy and online. To promote participation from the healthcare community, the IAMC will place all completed entries into a drawing for a $1,000 American Express gift card.

Taking a comprehensive view on compliance in children, the survey (found at addresses topics such as commonly prescribed medications, issues associated with compliance and taste, and solutions to improve palatability, such as the use of flavoring agents. Increasing medication adherence in children allows pediatricians to be confident that prescribing their first line of treatment will result in successful medications programs for their patients.

By determining the visibility and level of awareness for solutions that improve compliance in children by combating bitter tasting and pungent-smelling medications, the IAMC will be able to cater its future educational programs to meet the needs of the healthcare community.

Palatability, or taste and smell, is a common deterrent to compliance in children. Studies show that nearly 70% of children either dislike or hate the taste of liquid medications. As such, nearly half of children fail to take medications as directed, resulting in issues such as treatment failures, additional doctor (or even hospital) visits, need for extra medications, increased healthcare costs and a greater potential for antibiotic resistance.

Many patients often resort to using food and drink like chocolate syrup, orange juice and ice cream to help improve the taste of medications. However, certain foods, beverages and caffeine can interact with medicines, making them less effective or causing dangerous side effects. Therefore, the IAMC recommends that patients consult their pediatrician, physician or pharmacist before mixing medications with food or drink. Alternatively, to avoid food/drug interactions, patients can use medically-designed flavoring agents to safely overcome issues with taste. Reports indicate that the addition of flavoring to medicine can increase compliance in children from 53% to over 90%.

Low compliance in children can be particularly problematic, not only to a child's health, but also to the health of those around them. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, children have a higher likelihood to contract illnesses such as colds and the flu, and also a higher likelihood to spread infection. Especially in the case of medications such as antibiotics, failure to complete medication regimens can result in the development and spread of infectious strains resistant to low-levels of medication. Ultimately, this could render medications ineffective at fighting the resistant strains of the disease.

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About the IAMC

The IAMC is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a healthier world by increasing medicinal compliance. As a resource for information regarding the universal problem of medicinal compliance, the IAMC promotes and disseminates solutions to non-compliance and also provides examples of effective companies that are addressing this issue. Medicinal non-compliance is the failure to take drugs on time in the dosages prescribed, and failure to do so can lead to high health costs, lower productivity and can be as dangerous and costly as many illnesses.

IAMC members are companies that understand the issue of non-compliance. They represent a talent pool willing and ready to share their expertise and solutions with colleagues in higher education, policymakers, media professionals and the public at large.

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