Clinic Dispensing and Medication Compliance

One major benefit of clinic 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.
  • 14% to 21% of patients never fill their original prescriptions.
  • 60% of all patients cannot identify their own medications.
  • 30% to 50% of all patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning their medication.
  • Approximately 25% of all nursing home admissions are related to improper self-administration of medicine.
  • 12% to 20% of patients take other people’s medicines.
  • Hospital costs due to patient noncompliance are estimated at $8.5 billion annually.

A study published in The Journal of Rural Health, "The Effect of Physician Dispensing on Visit Compliance and Blood Pressure Control in a Rural Family Practice Clinic", found that 79% of patients in the dispensed group met criteria for visit compliance versus 49% of patients in the prescribed group.  This only serves to support the potential influence of in-office dispensing on patient behavior.

Physicians offering medications from their office are in a unique position to help address the problem of non-compliance.  Pharmaceutical 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.

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