Medication Adherence Expertise Center Of the northern Netherlands (MAECON) MAECON brings multidisciplinary adherence expertise and complimentary knowledge together Facility
MAECON currently has 12 members, all affiliated to either the University Medical Center Groningen and/or the University of Groningen. These members are all independent senior researchers and represent a large range of sub-specialisms related to medication adherence.

Mainly due to an ageing society, there is a steady increase in the number of patients with a chronic disease and multi-morbidity. This requires a multifaceted response, which often involves lifetime medication use.

Poor adherence

Most medications have proven their efficacy in large randomised clinical trials. Yet, in real-life practice, the effectiveness of medications is often much lower. A main reason is poor medication adherence. Medication non-adherence affects, depending on disease and definitions applied, up to 50% of patients that use chronic medication. Of note, it has been estimated that medication non-adherence is associated with almost 200,000 deaths and €125 billion of potentially preventable direct costs, such as hospital admissions and drug waste, and indirect ones, such as loss of work productivity, in the European Union alone.

Implementation platform

In the last decades, there has been little improvement in adherence across the spectrum of multiple chronic diseases. The fragmentation of adherence research, poor awareness among stakeholders, lack of effective and personalised strategies, and poor implementation and incentives in daily clinical practice are some of the key factors that little progress and change have been realised. To truly advance the adherence field, to make better use of our existing medications, and ultimately improve healthy ageing of societies, the time has come to unite all forces within one adherence expertise center that serves as a knowledge hub as well as implementation platform.


How our research benefits to society

In healthcare, MAECON aims at:

  • Raising awareness of - and advocating adherence among professionals and patients.
  • Educating professionals (in training) regarding medication adherence measurements and interventions.
  • We can offer support in measuring and managing medication adherence in daily clinical care. Support can be offered in the form of workshops and trainings for all type of healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses and pharmacists.


  • Within our bioanalysis lab we can determine drug concentrations in a variety of matrices including blood (regular and dried blood spot), urine, saliva and scalp hair.

  • Tools include ehealth devices to monitor and support adherence for numerous administration routes ranging from smart pill bottles for tablets/capsules/pills, to injection tracking devices and digital inhalers and smart spacers for inhaled medication.

  • Databases comprise routine primary care and pharmacy records from a large share of the northern Netherlands population that can be used to track drug use over time.

  • Networks with who we collaborate include the northern Netherlands hospitals, primary care general practices and community pharmacies, that can facilitate patient recruitment for clinical trials focusing on novel adherence monitoring strategies.


Job van Boven Assistant Professor

Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Hanzeplein 1
9700 RB Groningen