Billions of people across of the world take medications on a daily basis. Most people are dispensed medication in vials or other formats. Consistently adhering to a medication schedule as prescribed by a doctor, though, may be difficult for some people.
Benefits of Compliance Packaging
One option to help a patient stay on track with their medication schedule and maximize its effectiveness is compliance packaging, also known as blister packs or dosettes. Compliance packaging is an administration aid that usually contains a week’s supply of medication that is clearly labeled and organizes a patient’s medication schedule into several compartments as prescribed by their doctor. The compartments of the blister packs consist of the days of the week and the time they are designed to be taken: morning, noon, dinner, and evening. Learning about compliance packaging and its usefulness can be the first step to controlling your diseases and improving your health.
Reasons to Start Using Compliance Packaging
Thousands of Canadians use dosettes on a weekly basis. Health care professionals such as your physician or pharmacist may recommend the use of compliance packaging for several reasons.
- Helping treat a certain disease that requires multiple medications to control and stabilize the condition
- Mental impairment. Blister packs can be helpful for patients with degenerative mental disorders and decreased cognitive abilities.
- The need to manage a large number of medications for several different conditions. Studies have shown the more medications a person must take, the less likely they will adhere and stick to their medication schedules
- Increased convenience and ease of administration. The pharmacy creates these blister packs for the patient with labels that describe the medications based on the name and description of the tablet or capsule.
Advantages of Compliance Packaging
There are several advantages to using compliance packaging.
- Reducing the chances of missing doses or accidentally taking a double dose
- Ensuring the required medication is taken at the recommended time of day
- Helping establish a regular routine
- Combining prescription drugs with over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal products
- Helping avoid drug interactions by separating medications that tend to interact together into different time administration compartments
- If the physician makes a change to a dose or changes a medication, the pharmacist can make those changes to the blister pack and avoid confusing several vials of the same medication at different doses or multiple versions of the same medication
Disadvantages of Compliance Packaging
There are several disadvantages to using compliance packaging.
- Non-pill or capsule dosage forms such creams, gels, injection devices, etc. cannot be added to a blister pack
- Medications that require special administration instructions, such as taking on an empty stomach (e.g. bisphosphonates), will have to be dispensed separately in a vial
- Medications that are recommended to be taken when needed, such as pain medications, cannot be included in the blister packs
- Not child-safe and should be stored away from children
Why Compliance Packaging is Important
The common consensus among health care professionals is that blister packaging is an important step to increasing a patient’s adherence to medication. It simplifies a patient’s medication schedule. They can ultimately help a patient reach the treatment goals recommended by their physician. This can lead to less hospitalization and costly medical interventions which reduces the overall patient and health care system’s costs. It also reduces potential waste of medication. For example, a patient may be taking a blood pressure medication and the doctor increases his/her dose. Instead of throwing away half a vial full of unused medication when not using a dosette, the blister pack can be adjusted by the pharmacy, ultimately decreasing waste.
Before Compliance Packaging
After Compliance Packaging
Talk to your Health Care Professional
Using compliance packaging is part of an adherence program designed by your doctor and pharmacists. Regular communication with them in combination with a dosette program can help you meet your health care goals and improve your quality of life. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if compliance packing is right for you.
- Pharmacists increase patient adherence to drug therapy, improving health outcomes and lowering health costs. The Translator. Winter 2012, Volume 6, Issue 1. Retrieved from http://www.pharmacists.ca/cpha-ca/assets/File/education-practice-resources/Translator2012V6-1EN.pdf
- Getting in sync: Improving adherence through medication synchronization (2016, March 14). Retrieved from http://www.greenshield.ca/en-ca/news/stories/getting-in-sync-improving-adherence-through-medication-synchronization
- Hack, Brian. Inspector’s corner- Compliance packaging issues and considerations. Pharmacy Connection. July/August 2010: 32-34
- Hack, B; Dufour, J . Inspector’s corner- Compliance packaging issues and considerations part 2. Pharmacy Connection. Winter 11: 35-36
- Multi –Medication Compliance Aids (2013). Retrieved from http://www.ocpinfo.com/regulations-standards/policies-guidelines/compliance-aids/
Suggest a topic
Do you have a question for the pharmacist or a topic suggestion?
Send us an email and suggest a topic.
This article was provided by the clinical pharmacy at Rx Infinity. Rx Infinity provides optimal and sustainable patient management solutions through customized programs, innovative technology and added value services that improve the overall patient experience; while helping payers and plan sponsors achieve sustainability in the management of drug plans expenditures.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.