Medication Adherence, that’s the technical term for tracking if people take their medication as prescribed. There are often many reasons people don’t take what they are prescribed. Sometimes its lack of money, other times it because they feel like they are better and don’t have to complete the course of medication. While this can cause further illness later, it doesn’t often affect other people.
The population we are speaking about today can fall into both of those categories as well. People with severe behavioral health issues often have financial trouble or start feeling better and stop taking medication. However, the consequences for failing to take medication as prescribed can have wide ranging effects on the patient, their family and to the community at large.
When people with severe mental illness fall off their medication, they can become depressed, delusional and become a danger to themselves or others. They can lose their housing, becoming homeless or end up at an emergency shelter. All of these actions hurt both the patient and the community.
The cost to the community for an emergency room visit is far greater than the cost of the patients medication.
We are trying to do better. At MediPharm Pharmacy, we take great care to ensure that our customers get the right medication at the right time. In some communities we have initiated a mobile pharmacy to dispense medications at a patient’s home.
We take the time to review the patients medications, verify the prescriptions, dispose of expired medication and check for drug interactions that could be harmful.
Our “blister pack” dispensing of medication helps patients and caregivers give medication as scheduled. Some patients need the reminder to take medication as certain times of the day. Other patients can be forgetful or live in uncertain situations. The case management team and pharmacist can assess the situation and dispense weekly packs to reduce the impacts of loss or stolen medication.