INTRODUCTION: Direct quantification of drug concentrations allows for medication adherence monitoring (MAM) and therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). Multiple less invasive methods have been developed in recent years: dried blood spots (DBS), saliva, and hair analyses.
AIM: To provide an overview of emerging drug quantification methods for MAM and TDM, focusing on the clinical validation of methods in patients prescribed chronic drug therapies.
METHODS: A scoping review was performed using a systematic search in three electronic databases covering the period 2000-2020. Screening and inclusion were performed by two independent reviewers in Rayyan. Data from the articles were aggregated in a REDCap database. The main outcome was clinical validity of methods based on study sample size, means of cross-validation, and method description. Outcomes were reported by matrix, therapeutic area and application (MAM and/or TDM).
RESULTS: A total of 4590 studies were identified and 175 articles were finally included; 57 on DBS, 66 on saliva and 55 on hair analyses. Most reports were in the fields of neurological diseases (37%), infectious diseases (31%), and transplantation (14%). An overview of clinical validation was generated of all measured drugs. A total of 62 drugs assays were applied for MAM and 131 for TDM.
CONCLUSION: MAM and TDM are increasingly possible without traditional invasive blood sampling: the strengths and limitations of DBS, saliva, and hair differ, but all have potential for valid and more convenient drug monitoring. To strengthen the quality and comparability of future evidence, standardisation of the clinical validation of the methods is recommended.