Around half of all patients do not take their treatment as prescribed. This ‘non-adherence’ to treatment can have a dramatic impact on patients’ health and quality of life, resulting in avoidable hospitalisations and contributing to an estimated 200 000 deaths annually in the EU.
Currently, we do not fully understand all the factors that influence patients’ decisions regarding their treatments. The BEAMER project aims to add to our understanding of the factors that influence patient adherence across disease areas, and deliver guidance that various stakeholders could use to address patients’ needs and boost adherence.
‘Adherence to therapy is a public health problem, as 50 % of patients don’t take their medication as prescribed. This can have a significant impact on their quality of life and health outcomes (including leading to premature death), in addition to increasing health care costs,’ said BEAMER project coordinator Elísio Costa of the University of Porto. ‘To overcome this challenge, we need to better understand the underlying factors behind non-adherence and to work closely with patients and healthcare professionals, who stand to be the main beneficiaries of BEAMER’s potential solution.’
The project will create a model of the main factors affecting patient adherence to treatment and test it in pilot studies involving 18 000 patients in 6 countries. This will allow the project team to define non-adherence and develop guidance that healthcare stakeholders could transform into tools and solutions to improve adherence. The model will not be disease specific, but it will be possible for users to add disease-specific elements. This will make the model more widely applicable to different groups of patients.
‘We are incredibly excited about the potential of BEAMER to improve treatment adherence among patients with many different conditions, from all walks of life,’ added BEAMER industry project lead Claire Everitt of Pfizer. ‘The positive impacts of successful drug development and diagnosis are greatly reduced if patients aren’t following their prescribed treatment regime. We hope this project will provide the tools to help industry, doctors and healthcare systems improve treatment adherence rates by identifying and addressing patient needs.’
BEAMER will run for 5 years and has a total budget of just under €12 million.
BEAMER is supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry.