Tackling medication adherence with King’s College London by broadening access to further medical education

  • Poor adherence to medicine is considered an important public health issue, with wide-ranging implications – on people, societies, and economies alike.
  • Abbott has signed an educational grant with King’s College London to provide healthcare professionals from emerging countries access to resources and trainings on behavioral science in order to improve medication adherence.

A key public health challenge

Poor adherence to medicine is a key societal issue worldwide, with an estimated up to 31% of patients who never fill in their prescriptions, and 50% of patients do not take their treatment as directed1. Causes for non-adherence are often little known. Despite this, adherence has wide-ranging implications – on people, societies, and economies alike, and it is considered as an important public health issue.

Behavioral science as a solution to treatment adherence

According to the WHO2, increasing the effectiveness of medical adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the population than any improvement in specific medical treatments. Behavioral science has the potential to tap into human behavior and psychology to make a positive, durable impact on medication adherence and drive better patient outcomes. 

Understanding the challenges and the reasons of non-adherence and how to motivate patients to keep taking their treatment is essential to improve adherence. Leaning on behavioral science models can help doctors better understand their patient’s beliefs system.

Broadening access to further medical education

In order to shed a light on this complex issue, Abbott’s a:care medical program is offering masterclasses and a global virtual congress3 led by international experts and endorsed by large international and national medical societies. The aim of this program is to support doctors in better understanding their patients’ behavior, potential lack of adherence and how to initiate behavioral change. Key topics addressed include behavioral frameworks, latest developments in digital patient support programs and evidence-based approaches to change patient behavior. 

Abbott is proud to partner with King’s College London through an unrestricted educational grant to facilitate training and access to educational materials for doctors from emerging countries interested in non-adherence. There is a significant skills and knowledge gap in this area, with clinicians being unaware of the extent of non-adherence and unsure how to recognize or address it during routine consultations. This unrestricted educational grant will support training activities provided by the Centre for Adherence Research and Education.

“Non-adherence is a complex issue that can’t be fixed with simple solutions.”


  1. Khan, R. and K. Socha-Dietrich (2018), “Investing in medication adherence improves health outcomes and health system efficiency: Adherence to medicines for diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia”, OECD Health Working Papers, No. 105, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/8178962c-en. – https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/investing-in-medication-adherence-improves-health-outcomes-and-health-system-efficiency_8178962c-en last accessed 13/05/2022
  2. World Health Organization (WHO), 2003. Adherence to long-term therapies – Evidence For Action. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/chp/knowledge/publications/adherence_full_report.pdf> [Accessed September 2021].
  3. Tokgözoğlu L, Weinman J. Proceedings from the a:care congress: Adherence to medication: Time to recognise the elephant in the room, Atherosclerosis, May 2022, article in press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2022.04.022