Poor patient compliance is increasingly being stressed as the ‘missing link’ in optimal medication usage. Poor compliance is particularly problematic in the elderly population who, due to multiple pathology, often require complex medication regimens. One approach towards the improvement of patient compliance is the use of specially designed compliance packs. The present study was designed to measure the extra time required to dispense typical medication regimens into the compliance packs available in the UK and to examine, via a postal survey, the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists about compliance tissues. A time and motion study in which five community pharmacists and a pharmacy technician dispensed one week’s supply of medicines (each of three drugs) for five hypothetical patients into each of six different compliance packs (Dosett®, Medsystem®, Week Pound, Pill Mill®, Medidos®, Medi-Wheel® and Supercel® pouches) was carried out. A large variation in the time required to fill the different compliance packs was noted, ranging from 1 min 45 s ± 32 s (mean ± SD; n = 30) for the Dosett to 9 min 59 ± 2 min 16 s for the Supercel pouch system. The survey methodology involved mailing a 10 item questionnaire to all community pharmacists in Northern Ireland (520). The response rate to the survey was 66.5%. Many respondents (84%) felt that non-compliance was a significantly problem in the elderly population. The majority of respondents felt that the best approach towards improving compliance was via the use of a memory/compliance aid, coupled with patient counselling. About one fifth of the responding pharmacists had promoted compliance aids in their pharmacies, while only 9.5% felt that they had a good knowledge of the compliance packs available. Most respondents (93.9%) indicated that they would be willing to dispense medicines for selected elderly patients into compliance packs. There was an almost unanimous opinion that the National Health Service (NHS) should pay for the service.
This Research Database has been developed by HCPC Europe to create an overview of the available research in the field of patient-friendly and adherence packaging. The database is for all members of HCPC Europe. Members can register as a user to get access to the database. Is your organisation not a member yet? Then please register your organisation as a member or contact our Executive Director Ger Standhardt for more information.