A Luxembourgish researcher recently drew attention to the danger of wrong medication intake in her doctoral thesis.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), half of patients suffering from chronic diseases have trouble taking their medication correctly. In some cases, people even abandon their treatment altogether because they either forget it or do not understand the use of it.

This problem was recently analysed in Luxembourg for a first time. Catherine Goetzinger focused on medication for breast cancer patients in her doctoral thesis and found that many patients are overburdened by the process and feel left alone.


© Monica Camposeo

Similar concerns exist for patients suffering from other chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. Not adhering to prescriptions might even lead to hospitalisation or death, warns Christiane Fell, secretary general of the Pharmacists' Syndicate.

If a person with high blood pressure fails to medicate properly, they might suffer a stroke in the span of just a few weeks.

Goetzinger has therefore made the case that not only patients, but also healthcare staff should be made aware of the problem. Pharmacists handing out medication should take the time to revisit the exact way of taking each substance with patients to ensure that they know what to do.

Video report in Luxembourgish