Een boodschap die de advocaten van “generiek” serieus moeten nemen en een observatie die iedereen in zijn naaste omgeving ook kan maken. Patienten zijn wantrouwig als de ene pil vervangen wordt door de ander. Het zou in Nederland interessant zijn om een dergelijk onderzoek ook te verrichten t.a.v. de verpakking. Wat doet het met iemand als de pillen ineens uit Griekenland afkomstig blijken (parallel import)?
Er is nu vastgesteld dat kleur en vorm de compliance/adherence beinvloeden
Writing in the International Journal of Biotechnology, R.K. Srivastava and colleagues report that red and pink tablets are preferred over other colors. Their survey of 600 people showed that for three quarters of people the color and shape of their tablets act as a memory tag for compliance. Strangely, they found that 14 percent of people think of pink tablets as tasting sweeter than red tablets whereas a yellow tablet is perceived as salty irrespective of its actual ingredients. 11% thought of white or blue tablets as tasting bitter and 10% said orange-colored tablets were sour.
Twice as many middle-aged people preferred red tablets as younger adults and more women chose red tablets as were chosen by men. Color seems to be integral component of an OTC product, the team says.
Patients may trust their doctor or pharmacist, but this does not mean they will take the bitterest pill. “Patients undergo a sensory experience every time they self-administer a drug, whether it’s swallowing a tablet or capsule, chewing a tablet, swallowing a liquid, or applying a cream or ointment,” the team says. “The ritual involving perceptions can powerfully affect a patient’s view of treatment effectiveness.” The researchers suggest that it might be possible to ensure that all the sensory elements of given medication work together to create positive perceptions that complement the medical attributes. They point out, however, that surprisingly little attention has been paid to this aspect of pharmaceutical formulation.
The research has implications for marketing OTC medication to different age groups and to men and women. However, given that compliance in taking medication strongly depends on the patient’s perception of that medication the study could also have important connotations for improving effects. If patients are disinclined to take a tablet they consider bitter or sour or because they simply do not like the color, then a change of aesthetics might be needed. The same research might apply equally to prescription medicines