To the Editor We take issue with both the characterization of medication nonadherence by Dr Marcum and colleagues1 as a “diagnosable and treatable medical condition” and at the physician-centered nature of these claims.
First, although there is value in a systematic approach to medication nonadherence, we disagree with medicalizing the issue. Classifying a condition as a disease or illness is not value neutral; medicalizing the problem entails labeling the issue in ways that can have negative effects (such as stigma) on those who fall into this category.2 Adding another disease to a list of problems experienced by many nonadherent patients may create additional vulnerability.
Schonfeld T, Hester DM. Nonadherence to Medications. JAMA. 2013;310(14):1504-1505. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.277296