Specialty pharmacies remind patients to take their medicine

AdTaxi-PharmAdv-MedReminders1Nearly three out of four Americans are inconsistent when taking their medicine, a practice that has become a factor in more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations a year.

That statistic comes from Script Your Future, a national campaign launched three years ago to raise awareness of the importance of taking medications as directed.

“This poor adherence leads to serious health consequences and billions of dollars annually in avoidable health care costs,” according to the Script Your Future website. “People with chronic conditions are especially at risk, yet far too many do not understand how and why they should take their medications.”

The role of specialty pharmacies
With the assistance of specialty pharmacies, people are less likely to forget to take their medicine. Using technology and in-person reminders, they can always make sure that they’re on schedule.

One method that specialty pharmacies are using is home delivery. Patients who are unable to leave their homes or find it difficult to pick up their medicine at a pharmacy can opt to have it brought to their doorstep. To receive their medicine, they can call up their pharmacies or log into the pharmacies’ websites. Some companies send patients refill reminders so they know it’s time to place their orders.

Since the technology has been in place, high rates of patient adherence have been reported for those utilizing text message reminders. This is most likely due to the fact that while people neglect their snail mail and email, they always check their texts. According to one report by SinglePoint, text message open rates are higher than 99 percent.

When a refill order has been completed, the patient receives a text message that says it’s time to pick up the medicine. Pharmacies can schedule the messages for specified times and can even send follow-ups if the medication has not yet been retrieved.

Another method of sending out reminders is through apps. One app, called Medicine-On-Time, allows pharmacies to send messages to customers when it’s time to take their medication. It also shows patients instructions for taking pills.

Another app, MedCoach, connects with pharmacies and informs patients when it’s time for refills. There is also a personal medication schedule on the app, along with medication history and a contact list of pharmacies.

Getting started
To take advantage of home delivery and reminder programs, patients need to ask their pharmacists how they can sign up. Patients can select the best way to be notified, whether by a phone call, text message or email reminder. As for home delivery, they should inquire if there is tracking for packages and whether or not they have to be home for the medicine to be delivered.

With the technology and tracking, patients can stay healthy and happy, which is the number-one goal of pharmacists.