Noncompliance of Medication:
working in local pharmacy settings and dealing with hundreds of medications, prescriptions and customer is not an easy work. As part of other routine works, the return to stock (RTS) is one of the areas that should be taken care, every day before closing the business, there are some of medication that needs to return to the shelf due to failure of collection.
All though there are few prescription medicines that are not collected by patients, possibly it would be useful to see what quantity of prescriptions are not collected by patients and ultimately return to shelf each month.
In pharmacy which deals with 200 -250 prescription per day, if 10 to 15 (which makes 6%) of them not collected in day, may not make a significant difference.
Nevertheless, it would be useful to see its impact on human health and behavior issues that can be a compound factor of being non-compliant.
For instance, a small pharmacy where I work, for one month period (Nov-Dec 2021), total of 346 prescription medicine (both refill and new prescription) were not collected, about 10% of it was new prescription.
(Meaning that the prescriptions were issued by prescriber newly but was not picked up by patient. “Normally each prescription kept for pickup exact 10 days, during these 10 days patients have enough time to appear to the pharmacy for pick up, if not the medication will go back to the shelf” however in some circumstance’s patients request the pharmacy to allow themselves collect medication after 10 days and pharmacy is to comply to that request.
Out of 346 prescription 287 of it (83%) was kept in the pharmacy for 10 days, about 59 of them (16.6%) was kept more than 10 days.
Category wise, among the non-collected medicine highest was the anti-hypertensive followed by cholesterol lowering agents and gastrointestinal medication, although other medications including vitamins, mainly vitamin D that was not collected.
Now the issues need to be checked why the patient visit doctor but failed to collect the medication can this related to noncompliance of medication administration?
During my interaction with patients, I notice that important factors were price, time management carelessness/lack of awareness attitude.
Cost: Though cost of medication mostly covered by insurance company along with some copayment policy or mechanism on patient’s part, still in many cause patients failed to collect prescription medicine. These issues need urgent attention by the policy makers
Carelessness/lack of awareness: some patients may feel better after few hours of consultation without taking any medicine and thus patient feels reluctant to collect medicine. These situations may get further complicated if doctor did not explain the importance of medicine in-take to patient given a sufficient time during consultation.
Time Management: some patients mentioned that they failed to collect their prescription medicine in time because they left home for vacation or were on family visit.
In conclusion, it apparent that different reasons which are given rise to non-compliance to prescription medicines by the patient, needs urgent attention by pharmacy and therapeutic committee (PTC), insurance companies and over all policy makers.
Thanks for reading! Drop me a comment below