Purpose: The prevalence of hypertension is increasing in Ghana. In addition hypertension has been identified as the most common cause of heart failure, stroke, chronic renal disease and spontaneous sudden deaths in Ghana. A major concern arising from this increasing hypertension prevalence is that many patients in this relatively poor country find it difficult to afford the standard hypertension medications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate access to hypertension medication and assess non-compliance with hypertension medication in Ghana.
Methods: Patient interviews were conducted on all new patients attending the hypertension clinic at Komfo Anokye teaching hospital between December 2001 and April 2002.
Results: 93% of the interviewed patients did not comply with their medications. 96% of the non-compliant patients cited unaffordable drug prices as the main reason for non-compliance.
Conclusions: Non-compliance with hypertension medication is a major problem in Ghana. Unaffordable drug prices appear the major cause. Effort should be made both locally and internationally to improve access to medications for chronic diseases in developing countries.