Pre-Packaged Medicines contribute greatly to the healthcare industry. It contributes how much money is saved and wasted. It contributes to patients adhering to their plans and can prevent accidental overdoses.
Packaging of medicine also can aid in errors made by doctors and pharmacists.
Below are five ways the use of pre-packaged medicine can provide safer use among patients.
1. Patients Take Medicine as Prescribed
Reports state that patients do not take their medicine as prescribed. One of the main reasons they do not do this is because they forget if they have taken their dose for the day. Even if they use pill organizers, it can be confusing.
The cost in America of not taking medicines as prescribed is close to $300 billion.
It has been reported that at least ten percent of the American population is on five or more medications. This can be very overwhelming for those trying to stick to a regimen that works. Patients often forget which medicines are best taken in the morning and which at night.
They forget which medicines may interact if taken together and which are best when combined.
Pre-packaged medicines eliminate this confusion. Your patients will be able to tell if they have taken the correct dose, providing safety and reducing the fear of overdose.
2. Prevents Accidental Overdose
When patients do not have an effective system of tracking the medication they have taken throughout the day, they may accidentally take too much of their medicine.
Accidental overdoses occur mainly with those who are taking prescription pain medicines. In fact, just in the United States, around 60,000 people accidentally overdosed on prescription medications such as opioids in 2016.
Patients on pain medications may not be thinking clearly due to the effects of the medication. This can lead them to abuse their medicines, which can ultimately lead to accidents.
With pre-packaged medications, patients don’t have to think about their dose or count how many pills are left in their bottle. This will allow for improved outcomes.
3. Improves Patient Outcomes
When patients accidentally misuse their medications, or forget to take them altogether, they have poor outcomes. Meaning, their health suffers and conditions worsen.
With pre-packaged medications, patients do not have to wonder if they have taken their medicines or not. The packaging tells them. This system keeps a person on track with their medicine schedule, allowing them to experience the full benefits of the medicines prescribed to them.
Calendarized blister packaging is becoming very popular. It has shown great improvements in patient outcomes. With specific dates on the packaging, patients know exactly when to take their medicine. Instructions are also provided as to when to call for refills.
As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a study showed pre-packaged medicines with reminders had a positive effect on both patient adherence and outcomes.
Another study found that patients with diabetes benefited from pre-packaged medicines in keeping their blood pressure down and their glycemic levels in a healthy range.
Pre-packaged medicines can also eliminate errors with dispensing medicines that sound alike and look alike.
4. Reduces Pharmacist and Doctor Errors
You are human. You make mistakes. Dispensing medicines is one area where you want to make as few mistakes as possible. Pre-packaged medicines can help with this, especially when it is the doctor dispensing the medication directly.
If you work in a hospital, you know just how complex the medication systems can be. The more people involved with a prescription, the more room for error. There are many reasons for these errors, from lack of training to environmental stress.
Pre-packaged medicines can reduce all of the reasons, especially with simply getting them mixed up.
There are many medications that sound alike and look alike. When you are busy and in a rush, the two can be mixed up. Your patients trust you to know that you are giving them the right medication. They trust you so much that they will take their medication without hesitation, even if it appears different.
This is why you have to take every precaution necessary to ensure your patient’s safety.
A very recent example took place in England, where a pharmacist prescribed propranolol instead of prednisone to a patient. That patient died. In his trial, the pharmacist admitted the medicines were next to each other on the shelf and their packaging was similar.
Devastating events like this can be reduced and even eliminated with pre-packaged medication.
5. Pre-Packaged Medicines are Becoming Smarter
The packaging of medicine is constantly being reviewed and tested and upgraded. Pre-packaged medicines are currently child-resistant and elderly friendly. However, they are constantly being improved for patient safety.
Current designs are being tested to add a smart element to the packaging. One that can connect with technology such as a smart phone to enable reminders for patients to take their medications on time. Smart apps and programs are showing much progress in this field.
The materials used for packaging are child-resistant but are not hard for the elderly to open. They are sensitive to helping medicines remain the right temperatures also.
Patients often store their medicines at the wrong temperatures, causing them to lose effectiveness. Pre-packaging materials are able to protect the longevity of the medicines so the effectiveness remains strong.
All these Reasons benefit the patient the most, not the pharmaceutical companies.
Currently, the way medicines are packaged benefits the pharmaceutical companies the most, not the patient.
Pharmaceutical companies have been known to create packaging that forces you, as the doctor, to waste medicine. For instance, a patient may need 30 milligrams of a medicine that only comes in 20 milligram packaging.
You must use a full and another half of the medicine to give a patient the correct dose. What happens to the rest? It is thrown away. But the manufacturers of the product have doubled their profits.
This is an unfair practice that can harm the patient and the industry. When the goal focuses on money rather than properly treating the patient, errors can be made. Prepackaged medications can help solve this issue.
By investing in the use of pre-packaged medicines, you are putting your patients care as the top priority. You are helping them take their medicines as prescribed, which helps them improve their quality of life.