Pharmacy-refill measure of adherence to efavirenz can predict maintenance of HIV viral suppression

P. Saberi, N. Caswell, M. Amodio-Groton, P. Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine if a lower rate of adherence (<95%) is sufficient to maintain HIV viral suppression in patients on an efavirenz-based regimen. This study was a retrospective review of pharmacy refill records at an HIV specialty pharmacy at Montefiore Medical Center's outpatient clinic. Data from 151 HIV-positive patients on an efavirenz-based regimen with at least one undetectable viral load (HIV RNA <400 copies/mL) from December 2003 through March 2005 were reviewed. Adherence was calculated based on the formula: [(pills dispensed/pills prescribed per day/days between refills) x 100%]. Calculated adherence for each time-period was correlated to the respective HIV-RNA value for that period. Of 151 patients, viral suppression was maintained in greater than 80% of time periods for adherence rates as low as 85-90%. The periods with 75-80% adherence also had higher than 85% suppression. Rates of suppression began to fall when adherence decreased to <75%. In conclusion, lower adherence rates (<95%) on an efavirenz-based regimen were more successful in maintaining viral suppression than previously found with unboosted protease inhibitor-based regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-745
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Efavirenz
  • Pharmacy
  • Refill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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