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Changes in Pill Shape and Colour Influence Patient Medication Persistence
Generic medications result in equivalent outcomes when compared with brand-name drugs, while simultaneously reducing costs and improving medication adherence. While generic medications are felt to be therapeutically interchangeable with each other and their brand name counterparts, there can be significant differences in shape and colour despite equivalent doses and these variations in pill appearance may impact patient refill behaviours. This study evaluated the impact of changes in pill shape or colour on medication persistence (continued use of a prescribed medication over time) among 11,513 patients in the year following a myocardial infarction (MI). The investigators used a cohort study to describe the overall rates of changing colour and shape of cardiovascular medications (beta blockers, statins, and angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) among patients post-MI. The association between changing colour and shape and non-persistence of medication use was determined from a nested case-control analysis of nonpersistence episodes matched to controls. In total, 29% of patients had a change in pill shape or colour over the course of the study. Change in pill colour was associated with a 34% …
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