Improving medicine adherence in the UK


More than 340 million people are diagnosed with diabetes worldwide
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increased to 2.9 million
An estimated 46.3% of people with diabetes do not know they have it

The challenge

Over 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2 diabetes, which doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces average life expectancy by seven years. These risks are partly driven by poor adherence:

Up to 87%

of diabetes patients do not take their medication well enough to benefit from it

Less than one-third

of those prescribed sulphonylureas and/or metformin take them correctly

Only 28%

of people with diabetes achieve good glycaemic control

The high level of non-compliance to diabetes medication is linked with:

  • A lack of understanding about the disease and its potential complications
  • Difficulty sticking to complex treatment regimens
  • Side-effects of medication

How Patient Connect helped

Our clinical team developed tailored clinical messages to address specific adherence challenges in this patient group

Our UK network of 6,500 pharmacies was alerted to the challenge

Pharmacists verbalised clinical messages to patients collecting the target drug at the point-of-dispensing; they provided information on how to take the target medicine correctly – for example, ‘at the same time every day’ – and explained why it is important to do so


Impact on pack sales increased steadily from month one of the patient support programme. By month 12, growth was 27% higher in our active pharmacies compared to inactive (control) pharmacies.

These results suggest that the patient support programme had a significant effect on patient adherence.