Reimportation of Prescription Drugs as Contributing Component to Patient Drug Adherence: A Qualitative-Grounded Theory Study

Jeffrey A. Tubbs, Walden University


Pharmaceutical drugs are one of the most socially important health care products. They are part of many individualsâ?? everyday lives, from the eradicating of diseases at birth to treating patients at the end of life. However, for many patients access is prevented due to expensive cost. This study explored cost-related non-adherence (CRN) and researched if reimportation of pharmaceutical drugs from other countries could increase patient drug adherence. The perceptions of 10 patients and 10 providers in Maine were assessed. Maine is the only state that allowed its citizens to purchase prescription drugs from abroad. The research questions addressed (a) how reimportation drugs could contribute to drug adherence, (b) the perceptions of patients, and (c) the perceptions of key providers of reimportation. This study was guided by a theoretical framework utilizing Kurt Lewinâ??s theory of organizational change. Participants answered 15 open-ended questions. The study utilized a qualitative grounded theory approach; data were analyzed inductively. The research demonstrated that patients and health care providers had positive perceptions for a reimportation policy. Future research of other regions for this topic should prevail.

Member checking was used to validate the emerging theories of increased long term drug adherence incentivized by affordable drug cost, which contributes to perception of competence, better management of current disease, and decreased safety concerns. Positive social change implications can be achieved through savings to the health-care industry by creating a pathway to affordable drugs that will bring more drugs to market and create a competitive structure that can drive down pricing.