Editorials

Prescribing and taking medicines

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7419.819 (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:819
  1. Giselle Jones, papers editor (gjones@bmj.com)
  1. BMJ

    Concordance is a fine theory but is mostly not being practised

    About half of the medicines prescribed for people with chronic conditions are not taken.1 This is assumed to have large personal, economic, and societal costs,2 but are patients really any worse off for not taking their medicines as prescribed? Doctors say that not taking drugs means poorer health outcomes, but patients argue that only they can know what works for them and what doesn't. Bridging the gap between the agendas of patients and doctors changed the emphasis from the authoritarian concept of compliance to the more inclusive concept of concordance. Concordance means shared decision making and arriving at an agreement that respects the wishes and beliefs of the patient. What it should not be is a more gift wrapped version of compliance.3

    The concordant …

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