MPhil study projects

The utility of pharmacy refill records as a tool to measure antiretroviral therapy adherence in adults (≥ 19 years) on TDF/FTC/EFV, preferred first line (Namibia Art Guidelines, 2016)

Student: Constantine Mabuto

Country: Zimbabwe

Detecting poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among individuals living with HIV poses a significant challenge for private sector healthcare professionals. Timely detection and correction of adherence issues can mitigate drug resistance and treatment failure. Currently, no universal standard exists for measuring adherence. This study evaluated pharmacy refill records’ efficacy as a metric for ART adherence and predicting viral load outcomes.

A retrospective analysis of pharmacy and laboratory records was conducted for patients on TDF/FTC/EFV fixed-dose combinations who consistently refilled prescriptions at Riverside Pharmacy for at least six months. For each patient, refill dates over six consecutive months were documented, and the medication possession ratio (MPR), indicating adherence level, was calculated. Viral load values corresponding to each patient’s adherence level were recorded.

The results showed that 80% achieved optimal adherence (≥ 95%), with 35% achieving controlled viral loads. No substantial relationship was observed between suboptimal ART adherence and uncontrolled viral load. While pharmacy refill records estimated ART adherence, a weak correlation with viral load outcomes was found. A larger sample size is warranted for future investigations.