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This literature review summarizes the evidence on the prevalence, determinants, clinical and economic consequences of nonadherence with immunosuppressive drugs in renal transplant patients. A literature search yielded 38 articles measuring nonadherence by self-report, collateral report, assay, refill prescriptions or electronic monitoring. The weighted mean prevalence of self-reported nonadherence was 28%. Nonadherence is associated with poor clinical outcomes, contributing to 20% of late acute rejection episodes and 16% of the graft losses (weighted means). In addition, nonadherence results in lower lifetime costs because of shorter survival, yet also in a lower number of quality adjusted life years. Consistent determinants of nonadherence were younger age, social isolation, and cognitions (e.g. low self-efficacy, certain health beliefs). Determinants concerning the health care system/team seem to be underinvestigated. Because the evidence summarized in this review is based on older immunosuppressive regimens, further research should focus on prevalence, determinants and consequences of nonadherence with newer immunosuppressive regimens.