Do Patients Follow Through with OTC Benzoyl Peroxide?
Benzoyl peroxide (BP) is a key component of almost all acne treatment regimens. While over-the-counter (OTC) products should be easier for patients to find and use, data suggests that patients are less compliant with OTC medications partly because there are fewer negative perceived consequences with nonadherence.
BP became OTC seven years ago, and a recent study looked at whether patients adhered to the recommendation to include an OTC product with BP as an active ingredient. In this survey of 84 patients, the results showed that the vast majority did not adhere to the recommendation. Unlike prescription medicine, which 93% of patients filled, only 64% picked up a BP product and of those products, only 30% actually had BP as an active ingredient. Patients stated that either they did not recall the recommendation for an OTC product as part of the regimen, or they could not recall the specific name of the ingredient. If they did recall the ingredient, 30% of patients could not find the correct product and instead purchased an item with the wrong ingredient or no active ingredient.
The authors conclude that patients need more guidance in their OTC acne treatment selection. Some suggestions include better education about OTC products, in-office dispensing of BP, or using fixed-dose combination prescription products.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C
Posted: November 13, 2017
Adapted from the original article.