Almost a quarter of people on medication to prevent strokes and heart attacks are not taking their drugs, research has found.
Women are slightly more likely than men to take their drugs on time, according to a poll of 472 patients, but overall 26% said they either missed doses or did not use their prescribed medication at all.
Anti-clotting drugs were not taken regularly by 29% of patients at a GP practice in the North-east of England, and 23% failed to take statins on time, which reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Research presented at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Manchester found that older patients and those on large numbers of drugs were more likely to stick to a medication schedule.
Pharmacist Wasim Baqir, from The Village Green Surgery, Sunderland, said: “Simply prescribing a drug is not enough.
“Doctors and other members of the primary care team, such as pharmacists, need to work with patients so they understand the importance of taking their medicines in the right dose, at the right time.”