The medicine isn't going down | Science News

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The medicine isn't going down

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6:56pm, January 24, 2003

From San Antonio, Texas, at the 60th annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association

Most people with diabetes don't take their medications often enough to keep their disease under control, according to new research. Moreover, physicians don't prescribe medications to control hypertension and high blood concentrations of cholesterol to all the diabetic patients who need them.

"Only one-third of people with type II diabetes have their prescriptions filled often enough to take at least 90 percent of their pills," says Andrew D. Morris of the University of Dundee in Scotland. Over a 3-year period, he and his colleagues tracked 3,494 patients diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland and compared the quantity of drugs prescribed by physicians with the amount dispensed by pharmacies.

Only 13 percent of people taking two medications for their diabetes filled 90 percent of their prescriptions, he says. People who were best off financially and those most recently d

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