Patient Assistance Programs and Technology in Medication Adherence

  • Carlos Colon, MS
  • Raiza Cotto, BS
  • Militza Díaz, AA
  • Isabel Martínez, BS
  • Paulette Salas, BS
  • Genevieve M. Hale, PharmD, BCPS, BCCP Nova Southeastern University
  • Nile M. Khanfar, PhD, MBA Nova Southeastern University
Keywords: medication adherence, patient assistant programs, technology, pharmacy


Background: Patient assistance programs, including medication management and counseling, have the potential to improve care in chronic disease states with complex therapies. Incorporating technology as a tool to foster adherence is becoming more commonplace in practice.

Objectives:  The purpose of this report is to identify barriers of medication adherence and review the impact of patient assistance programs and technology on medication adherence.

Methods: A literature search was conducted in secondary databases, PubMed/MEDLINE and EBSCOhost of peer-reviewed systematic reviews, experimental, quasi-experimental, and observational reports published in English within the last fifteen years. Terms searched included patient assistance program, pharmacist role, technology, adherence or compliance, income and health.

Results: Ten studies met our prespecified criteria. Male sex, several self-reported chronic diseases, negative expectancy of treatment, engagement in polypharmacy, financial hardships and lower education level correlated with lower medication adherence. Patient care assistance programs and utilization of technology (e.g., use of a mobile application) improved medication adherence.

Conclusions: Patient assistance programs and technological tools, such as mobile applications, are necessary resources in improving medication adherence.


Article Type: Idea Paper


Download data is not yet available.
Received 2020-05-13
Accepted 2020-05-22
Published 2020-06-05
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research