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 one fourth 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.

Physicians offering medication dispensing 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.

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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