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Physician Dispensing and Medication Compliance

One major benefit of physician dispensing is that it helps address the problem of patient medication compliance.  An article in the Journal of Applied Research shares the following facts:

  • Approximately
    125,000 people with treatable ailments die each year in the USA because
    they do not take their medication properly.
  • Fourteen to 21% of patients never fill their original
    prescriptions.
  • Sixty percent of all patients cannot identify their
    own medications.
  • Thirty to
    50% of all patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning
    their medication.
  • Approximately
    one fourth of all nursing home admissions are related to improper self-administration
    of medicine.
  • Twelve to
    20% of patients take other people’s medicines.
  • Hospital
    costs due to patient noncompliance are estimated at $8.5 billion annually.

Physicians offering medications from their office are in a unique position to help address the problem of non-compliance.  Medication dispensing at the point-of-care allows the drug conversation to happen in real-time.  Not only can the practitioner describe the purpose and use of the medication, the patient can literally have the product in hand during the conversation.

As an example, a University of Georgia College of Pharmacy course advocates pharmacist counseling as a means for dealing with non-compliance.  The idea is that personal interaction enables better communication and opens the door to questions.  As pharmacists look to improve outcomes with counseling, it further highlights the opportunity for physicians to enhance their practices through pharmaceutical dispensing.

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