Non-adherence to medication is a key worldwide issue and can lead to adverse patient outcomes and increased health system costs. Would a process facilitating notification of non-adherence infringe upon the autonomy of individuals or breach expectations of privacy? In contrast, patients who are not taking their medication could unknowingly be putting themselves at risk and all the while prescribers are unaware and without the opportunity to intervene. With the advent of electronic methods of medication adherence monitoring, this ethical dilemma now involves a new layer of complexity.
This paper presents two scenarios encountered in clinical practice that reflect issues occurring regularly in the Canadian healthcare system.