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Zullig LL, Deschodt M, Liska J, Bosworth HB, De Geest S. Moving from the Trial to the Real World: Improving Medication Adherence Using Insights of Implementation Science. Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology. 2019 Jan 6; 59:423-445.
Medication nonadherence is a serious public health concern. Although there are promising interventions that improve medication adherence, most interventions are developed and tested in tightly controlled research environments that are dissimilar from the real-world settings where the majority of patients receive health care. Implementation science methods have the potential to facilitate and accelerate the translation shift from the trial world to the real world. We demonstrate their potential by reviewing published, high-quality medication adherence studies that could potentially be translated into clinical practice yet lack essential implementation science building blocks. We further illustrate this point by describing an adherence study that demonstrates how implementation science creates a junction between research and real-world settings. This article is a call to action for researchers, clinicians, policy makers, pharmaceutical companies, and others involved in the delivery of care to adopt the implementation science paradigm in the scale-up of adherence (research) programs.