A simple informative intervention in primary care increases statin adherence

Manuela Casula, Elena Tragni, Rossana Piccinelli, Antonella Zambon, Luisa De Fendi, Lorenza Scotti, Giovanni Corrao, Marco Gambera, Alberico Luigi Catapano, Alessandro Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of an informative intervention on general practitioners aimed at improving patients' adherence to statin therapy. Methods: In the local health unit (LHU) of Bergamo, Lombardy (Italy), each general practitioner received a synthetic scientific document on dyslipidaemia and statins and aggregated data on adherence in 2006 for his/her patients compared to the means in the LHU and in his/her working district. Furthermore, a sample of seven districts received also a table of adherence levels for single patients. Patient's level data were retrieved from the health care utilisation databases of the LHU. Adherence parameters (proportion of patients with only one prescription, medication possession ratio [MPR] and proportion of non-persistent patients) were assessed after 1 year of follow-up. Results: Overall, 5833 and 4788 new statin users were enrolled before and after the intervention, respectively. The percentage of patients with only one prescription decreased from 28.0 to 23.9 % (p <0.001). MPR increased from 70.3 to 76.0 % (p <0.001), and proportion of patients with MPR =80 % increased from 45.4 to 56.4 % (p <0.001). The persistence also showed an improvement, both in terms of decreasing proportion of non-persistent (from 51.9 to 41.4 %, p <0.001) and of increasing duration of continued therapy (from 235 to 264 mean days of persistent therapy, p <0.001). There were not significant differences between the two types of intervention. Conclusions: This intervention resulted in an overall improvement of the short-term adherence to therapy. This tool can be replicated in other local contexts and with other chronic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Adherence
  • General practice
  • Informative intervention
  • Persistence
  • Statin therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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