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Non-adherence has been well recognized for years to be a common issue that significantly impacts clinical outcomes and health care costs. Medication adherence is remarkably low even in the controlled environment of clinical trials where it has potentially complex major implications. Collection of non-adherence data diverge markedly among cardiovascular randomized trials and, even where collected, is rarely incorporated in the statistical analysis to test the consistency of the primary endpoint(s). The imprecision introduced by the inconsistent assessment of non-adherence in clinical trials might confound the estimate of the calculated efficacy of the study drug. Hence, clinical trials may not accurately answer the scientific question posed by regulators, who seek an accurate estimate of the true efficacy and safety of treatment, or the question posed by payers, who want a reliable estimate of the effectiveness of treatment in the marketplace after approval. The Non-adherence Academic Research Consortium is a collaboration among leading academic research organizations, representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and physician-scientists from the USA and Europe. One in-person meeting was held in Madrid, Spain, culminating in a document describing consensus recommendations for reporting, collecting, and analysing adherence endpoints across clinical trials. The adoption of these recommendations will afford robustness and consistency in the comparative safety and effectiveness evaluation of investigational drugs from early development to post-marketing approval studies. These principles may be useful for regulatory assessment, as well as for monitoring local and regional outcomes to guide quality improvement initiatives.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J

Publication Date





2070 - 2085


Adherence, Clinical trial, Compliance, Medication, Persistence, Cardiovascular Agents, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cardiovascular System, Case-Control Studies, Consensus, Decision Making, Health Care Costs, Humans, Intention to Treat Analysis, Medication Adherence, Physicians, Placebos, Risk Assessment, Safety, Societies, Scientific, Spain, Treatment Outcome, United States, United States Food and Drug Administration