AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) today announced results from its multi-country ALIGN study, which shows that across six chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), adherence to treatment was generally higher in patients being treated with TNF inhibitors compared to patients treated with conventional therapy. Furthermore, patients who were "accepting" toward their medication were more often adherent, compared to patients who were "ambivalent" toward their medication, as estimated from their responses to validated questionnaires. Results were presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2014 Congress in Paris.
"Getting patients to adhere to medication continues to be a common healthcare problem, particularly among patients with chronic illnesses,"i said John Weinman, B.A., Ph.D., FBPsS, D.Sc, study investigator and professor of psychology at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College, London. "This study, across six chronic inflammatory diseases and 33 countries, is the first of its kind and provides the medical community with important insights into how patients' beliefs and concerns may influence treatment adherence."
The aim of the ALIGN study was to explore patients' (n=7,197) beliefs, concerns, attitudes and adherence toward TNF inhibitors and selected conventional therapies, used either alone or in combination to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC) or psoriasis (PsO). The study involved patients completing validated questionnaires, including Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) and the short Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-4).
Results showed adherence to treatment, as determined by MMAS-4 scores, was generally higher in patients treated with TNF inhibitors with or without conventional therapy compared to patients treated with conventional therapy. Across all treatment types, a higher percentage of "accepting" patients (feeling a high necessity for and low concern about medication) were adherent to treatment compared to "ambivalent" patients (feeling a high necessity and high concern) based on MMAS-4 analysis and combined BMQ scores.
According to the BMQ sub-score results, patients treated with TNF inhibitors, with or without conventional therapy, had a higher perceived "necessity" for treatment of their disease, compared to patients treated with conventional therapy. Additionally, patients' ratings of "concern" around their current treatment were similar between those treated with TNF inhibitors and conventional therapy.
"These findings are encouraging given TNF inhibitors' role in the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases; however, there remains room for improving overall treatment adherence," said Maria Rivas, M.D., vice president, Global Medical Affairs, AbbVie. "AbbVie remains committed to providing educational resources and tools to help facilitate physician-patient dialogue so that physicians are more able to identify behaviors that may lead to a lack of adherence."