We all forget to take our medications from time to time, yes even pharmacists.
It is estimated that 75% of Americans do not take their medications as directed. Forgetfulness, cost, and perceived necessity of the medication are just a few reasons people may not take their medications as prescribed. Unfortunately, poor medication adherence in the US contributes to approximately 125,000 deaths annually and over $100 billion per year in healthcare costs.
In an effort to increase medication adherence, pharmacies began offering different packaging options (“adherence packaging”) designed to help individuals remember to take their medications.
Adherence packaging is a tool used to assist patients in maintaining a medication schedule and thus optimizing the effectiveness and safety of the treatment.
What are my packaging options?
At Sona Pharmacy, we offer a variety of adherence packaging options that are useful for elderly patients, caregivers, and patients taking multiple medications. The goal of this packaging is to ensure individuals take the prescribed medication at the correct time.
Bottles and Stickers
- At Sona, we apply indication stickers, time of day stickers, and dietary restrictions directly to medication bottles. This service is offered free of charge.
- Bubble packaging ensures the patient takes a single dose of the correct medication at its proper time. At Sona, this packaging is done at no additional charge.
7-day Pill Packs
- These packs are similar to pillboxes. Medications are packaged by each day of the week (Sunday through Saturday) and into four convenient time slots: morning, noon, evening, and bedtime. This packaging is done at Sona for a $5 monthly fee.
TCGRx (Multi-Dose Strip Packaging)
- TCGRx, commonly called multi-dose strip packaging, is an ideal packaging option for individuals with active lifestyles. The medication’s name, strength, shape, and time of day it should be taken is printed directly on the pouch. Simply roll out an individual pouch from the medication box and tear it off for on-the-go access. At Sona, this packaging option is billed at a $10 monthly fee.
How does it work at Sona?
We start by obtaining an up-to-date medication list from all providers to ensure our pharmacists have the correct medications on file. Once we receive these lists, one of our clinical pharmacists will perform a “medication reconciliation”. This reconciliation ensures we create the most accurate drug list possible with details such as drug name, dosage, frequency, and route.
Next, our pharmacy team reviews the list with the individual, as well as the options for packaging. The team members are happy to answer any questions and will help discuss the best packaging option for each individual.
The final step of the process is working with the individual to decide on their preference for timing of medications. Once complete, each individual will receive a monthly care call to review the medications, identify any changes, and discuss if the individual is benefiting from the service.
Adherence packaging is a valuable service that can help individuals remove the guesswork from taking medications. By effectively and safely taking medications as they are prescribed, individuals can improve their health and help reduce healthcare costs.
If you have any questions, or would like to speak with a pharmacist to learn more about these packaging options, please call us at 828-348-3000, or stop by Sona Pharmacy today.