An educational programme to encourage adherence to the new anticoagulant apixaban (Eliquis, Bristol Myers-Squibb), in the first 6 months of treatment in AF patients made no difference to compliance rates in the Assessment of an Education and Guidance Programme for Eliquis Adherence in Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation (AEGEAN) study.
Education included a patient information booklet explaining AF and anticoagulant treatment for stroke prevention, reminder tools (key ring, mobile phone alerts), and access to a virtual clinic with staff from existing anticoagulation clinics. Adherence was measured using an electronic device that holds a blister pack of medication and records each time the pack is removed. At 24 weeks, the adherence rate was 88.5% in the control group and 88.3% in the education group (P=0.89), and persistence rates were 90.5% and 91.1% respectively (P=0.76).
Whether these figures persist longer than 24 weeks remains to be seen. Long term adherence to a medication regimen may be more difficult to achieve without professional support.