Most Lupus Patients on Medicaid Not Taking Their Medications as Prescribed

Many people with lupus who are on Medicaid are not adequately following their treatment plans, increasing their risk for poor health outcomes, according to research presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Immunosuppressive and anti-malarial drugs have been shown to improve patient outcomes by reducing disease activity, joint and organ damage, and death. Researchers from The University of California and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that that less than one in three patients took these drugs as prescribed. African Americans were less likely to comply when compared to Caucasians.

"This study tells us that working with lupus patients to improve adherence is central to improving health outcomes," explains lead investigator Dr. Yazdany. "It is important for patients to understand the life-saving nature of these medications and to communicate with their doctors if they have concerns about their medications." He also emphasized that healthcare providers need to be aware that their patients may not be following their instructions.