Drug adherence in chronic kidney diseases and dialysis

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Poor long-term adherence and persistence to drug therapy is universally recognized as one of the major clinical issues in the management of chronic diseases, and patients with renal diseases are also concerned by this important phenomenon. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients belong to the group of subjects with one of the highest burdens of daily pill intake with up to >20 pills per day depending on the severity of their disease. The purpose of the present review is to discuss the difficulties encountered by nephrologists in diagnosing and managing poor adherence and persistence in CKD patients including in patients receiving maintenance dialysis. Our review will also attempt to provide some clues and new perspectives on how drug adherence could actually be addressed and possibly improved. Working on drug adherence may look like a long and tedious path, but physicians and healthcare providers should always be aware that drug adherence is in general much lower than what they may think and that there are many ways to improve and support drug adherence and persistence so that renal patients obtain the full benefits of their treatments.

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