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Non-compliance: a side effect of drug information leaflets
  1. F Verdú,
  2. A Castelló
  1. Department of Legal Medicine, College of Medicine and Odontology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr F Verdú
 Department of Legal Medicine, College of Medicine and Odontology, University of Valencia E G, Av/ Blasco Ibañez, n°15, 46010-Valencia (Spain);

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The problem of non-compliance with treatment and its repercussions on the clinical evolution of different conditions has been widely investigated.1–4 Non-compliance has also been shown to have significant economic implications, not only as a result of product loss but also indirectly through the complication of disease management and its subsequent healthcare and social costs.5–7

Non-compliance as a health problem

The term “non-compliance” might be taken to refer both to the failure to follow a drug regimen and to the failure to adopt other measures that contribute to improvement in health—for example, changes in lifestyle or diet. This letter focuses on the former.

Non-compliance with a drug regimen can be the result of a number of different factors9–11 and a variety of techniques have been developed in an attempt to control it.12,13 Of these, the few techniques that have been shown to be effective have only managed to solve the problem in specific situations over short periods of time. The use of such techniques to control non-compliance, particularly where these are effective, raises interesting ethical questions about the extent to which their application constitutes an infringement of the patient’s right to decide on how to manage their own health.8 Here we suggest that in some cases one factor that leads to non-compliance is the tendency to provide extensive and exhaustive information on side effects in …

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