Prescription-level factors associated with primary nonadherence to dermatologic medications

Audrey Rutherford, Donald A. Glass, Elizabeth A. Suarez, Adewole S. Adamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze factors associated with primary nonadherence to dermatologic medications and study whether prescription-level factors are associated with primary nonadherence. Materials and methods: A retrospective review of medical records of new dermatology patients from January 2011 to December 2013 at a single urban safety-net hospital outpatient dermatology clinic with a closed pharmacy system. Results: A total of 4307 prescriptions were written for 2490 patients. The overall primary nonadherence rate was 24.7%. The most prescribed medication classes in order of frequency were topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, topical retinoids, oral antibiotics, and topical antifungals. After multivariable adjustment for patient, provider, and prescription characteristics, when compared to topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, oral antifungals, and oral antivirals were less likely to be filled (RR 0.9 [95% CI, 0.84–0.95]), (RR 0.69 [95% CI, 0.59–0.81]), and (RR 0.65 [95% CI, 0.46–0.93]), respectively. Conversely, topical vitamin D analogs, oral immunomodulators, and oral retinoids were more likely to be filled (RR 1.15 [95% CI, 1.02–1.28]), (RR 1.11 [95% CI, 1.04–1.19]), and (RR 1.15 [95% CI, 1.04–1.27]), respectively. Conclusions: Medication class or administration route may be associated with increased risk of nonadherence, and identifying these factors is important in considering ways to reduce primary nonadherence rates in dermatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-304
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dermatological Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018


  • Primary nonadherence
  • adherence
  • medication class
  • pharmacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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