The importance of medication management

Medication management and sticking to your routine isn’t a simple task. It consists of taking the right dose, at the right time and in the right way as prescribed by your GP.  We decided to talk about medication management after speaking to one of our patient’s daughter called Erica. Erica shared her experience of using the PillTime solution for her mum. Keep on reading to find out the causes of non-adherence and what you can do to improve your medication management. 

Patient experiences highlighting how essential it is to take your medicines on time, correctly.  

Erica’s experience highlights why we introduced PillTime, especially for vulnerable people who rely on support from others. Our pouches are clearly-labelled with the date and time so carers can identify if a patient has taken their dose. Erica quoted: 

“These people have developed such a simple but helpful way of dispensing medicine. If it was not for PillTime, I think my mum, who is 93, would have died. I discovered Mum had not used the PillTime box (all the dates and times of the meds on the spool) for 14 days. These meds were life-giving with no option to stop. I could see what had been missed. Otherwise, her decline in health would have been put down to her age but following a visit from paramedic’s mum clawed her way back and is well again. Thank you PillTime so much”. 

We’ve spoken to Erica since the review and can confirm that Vera is doing well. If it wasn’t for the PillTime pouches and Erica’s quick action, Vera’s health could have declined further. 
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How many times have you forgotten to take your essential medicines? 

From working in community pharmacies for over 25 years, our founder and CEO, Paul Mayberry, found many patients who struggled to stay on track with their medicines. After digging a little further, Paul discovered a report from theWorld Health Organisation, which revealed that 50% of the population do not take their medication as prescribed. After realising the extent of the issues, Paul founded PillTime. We know medication adherence isn’t a simple task, so we’ve provided a solution to make medication management simple. We see that our service makes a difference for thousands of people, but non-adherence continues every day. 

Why don’t people take their medicines? 

Omincell Ukresearched to explore the reasons why people don’t take their medicines in the right way. Here are the top three reasons: 

Forgetfulness: 

The main reason why people aren’t adherence to their medicines is because of forgetfulness. In total, 65% of people say that they forget. Let’s face it, at times, we all forget to do something, whether it’s to send an email at work or put the washing on at home – wouldn’t you agree? For people taking many medications, this issue can be far worse. Medicine dosage times can vary, meaning that it can be difficult for people to get into a routine. This was the main reason why PillTime was founded; multiple medicines pre-sorted into one single pouch aids medication simplicity. 

Side-effects: 

When you start taking new medicines, you may experience some unpleasant side-effects. Often side-effects can disappear after a few weeks once your body has adjusted to the new medicines. However, some people find side-effects unbearable, and it discourages them from continuing medications. Around 25% say that side-effects made them ill, which made them stop taking medicine. 

Understanding: 

Have you ever been to your GP and they’ve prescribed you medicines you’ve never heard of? If so, you’re not alone. Many people say they don’t take their medication because there’s “nothing wrong with them”. This is often a misconception as the purpose of the medicine has not been explained to the patient in ways they understand. 

The cost of not taking medicines as prescribed 

Medication wastage costs the NHS a whopping £500 million every year. Also, think of the costs every time someone gets admitted to the hospital and requires treatment because of non-adherence. The expenses keep on rising at a time when the NHS already sees its worst-ever financial crisis. We could use £500 million to hire extra doctors and nurses, fund necessary surgery or even cover the cost of life-saving therapies. 
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What happens when you don’t take your medicines? 

For one, you’re not managing your condition effectively. Without your medicines, you may require further treatment and worse case; you could end up in the hospital due to adverse effects of not taking the medication. 

Simple steps to improve medication adherence 

There are simple steps you can take to help you stay on track. These are: 

PillTime pouches: 

Firstly, Sign up to PillTime, the online pharmacy that gives patients peace of mind and significantly improves adherence. As discussed above, PillTime pre-sorts your medicines into individual pouches and delivers them for free. The pouches contain the date and time you need to take your dose, so there’s no confusion and no loose tablets. For more information about managing medicines with PillTime, visit our blog post byclicking here.

Alarms: 

After you sign up to PillTime, you could set alerts on your phone to tie in with your pouch times. If your memory isn’t great, you could even add a note to the alarm such as “take your PillTime pouch”. 

In sight, in mind: 

Ever heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind” well we’ve swapped this saying for “in sight, in mind.” We believe that keeping your medication in an open space, that you can see, should always keep your medication regime in your mind. For example, you could keep your medicines on the kitchen counter or your bedside table. If you’re signed up to PillTime, the blue medicine box is an excellent example of “in sight in mind”. As the blue box is quite eye-catching, you should always see it in the corner of your eye, if left in an open space. 

However, please consider whether you have children or pets in the household. You should always keep medicines out of reach and sight of children and pets. 

Combine with a daily task: 

For example, you could take your medicines with your first cup of coffee in the morning. If possible, you could also try taking them at the same time to get into a routine. We recommend speaking to your GP or pharmacist to confirm you can do this before doing so. 

Speak to your family and friends: 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend or loved one could help you by sending you a text or giving you a call when it’s time to take your dose. 

Find out more information about PillTime atwww.pilltime.co.uk.