Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jamaica Has a Problem with Compliance

I hate to keep posting articles I find, but it is a way to bring to light information that others might have missed. Sometimes there is only so much I can say - other than see, see, it is a problem everywhere! Why don'ts you take your meds!!!!!

I am currently mulling over some information regarding medication patches and gels which will greatly improve adherence. My thoughts coming soon!

When you think of Jamaica, you do not think of medication noncompliance, but this article from the Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper, tells a different story.

Pharmacy Today: Take your pills, NOW! by Ellen Campbell-Grizzle
Medicines work best when they are taken as prescribed. People are buying medication and not taking them or taking them incorrectly. This is emerging as a major public health concern. Persons are not taking life-enhancing medication appropriately and continue to adopt risky behaviours.

We accept that swallowing medication is not a natural act and that some drugs are unpleasant and bitter, and we know that always remembering to take medication on time is most challenging. However, medication wastage is having a devastating effect on the lives of individuals and the public purse.

Privacy is paramount

Jamaica's pharmacists are now being challenged to make a greater effort to be part of the solution to this problem. In order to do this, pharmacists need to spend more time in conversation with each patient and ask some pointed questions.

However, in recent times, our patients are feeling that such queries are intrusive and have not welcomed them. There are good reasons for this. Many patients do not have the opportunity to develop comfort levels with pharmacists who tend to work in various locations. There is always discomfort in sharing private information with strangers.

Patients often resist probing questions from their pharmacists and do not supply the necessary information. Privacy at the point of information and handing over of medication is a major barrier. This situation has to change. The cost of medication noncompliance to the individuals, governments and insurers is spiralling. Pharmacists must develop better therapeutic relationships with patients who will be more comfortable and confident in answering questions related to their health and medication status.

Better medication use

New systems are now being developed to solve this problem at the pharmacy level. Jamaican consumers must be prepared to be more forthcoming to their pharmacists' questions. This will assist in the design of a better medication use plan for you. Here is how you can help to ease this problem. Be prepared to:

Show what medicines you are taking.
Tell how you are currently taking your medication.
Explain (to the extent that you know) what each medicine is intended for.
Talk about side effects that worry you.
Give some information as to whether you feel your medicines are working.
Talk about problems that you have with taking your medication such as difficulty in swallowing tablets, remembering to take your medication, difficulty in opening containers.
Share your difficulty in affording medication, if this exists.
Talk about spare/excess medication that you may have.
Talk about the medication that you purchase from other pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations and your use of herbal and other types of remedies.
Give information about your favourite fruit juices such as cranberry or grapefruit juice.
Have your questions fully explored and answered.

A different paradigm

In this new type of partnership, pharmacists will have to designate consultation areas in the establishment, ensure that patients and pharmacists can speak in normal volumes without being overheard, keep records of advice given and ensure that patient data is confidential. In recent times, you may have experienced some of these changes but more needs to be done.

Patients and pharmacists working together can help to reduce medication noncompliance.

1 comment:

Jason h said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.