Nearly 40 per cent of Manitobans taking medications improperly: poll

Nearly 40 per cent of Manitobans are not taking their prescription medications properly, according to an Insights West survey on behalf of London Drugs.

One in four Manitobans reported stopping their medications before their doctor advised, and one in five admitted to taking a lower dosage than prescribed or not filling their prescriptions at all.

In addition, 20 per cent of people polled admitted to making adjustments to prescription dosage or frequency without consulting a health care professional.

“There are several factors that contribute to the improper use of medications, including forgetfulness, inconvenience, and a lack of medication literacy. Some patients may not fully understand why or how their medication should be taken,” says Danny Lee, a pharmacist at London Drugs in Winnipeg. “Either intentional or unwitting failure to take medications as prescribed decreases the effectiveness of treatment and endangers patient health.”

One-quarter of Manitobans attributed their practices to forgetfulness, saying they have trouble remembering when or if they have taken their medication.

The vast majority of Manitobans, however, agree it’s important to follow prescription instructions exactly.

Results of the study are based on an online survey conducted between Feb. 13 and 28, 2019 among a sample of 351 people.

The data was statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.20 percentage points.