The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has warned against the usage of multi-compartment compliance aids (MCA) as they lack outright patient benefit.

“People can experience a range of barriers to taking their medicines, and multi-compartment compliance aids are often viewed as a solution. However, the limited evidence base suggests a lack of patient benefit outcomes and sometimes they can cause harm,” said RPS.

“MCA is one tool amongst many to help with medicines use but other interventions also exist, which as part of a patient-centred and quality approach, must also be considered.”

RPS suggested: “Patients who can safely self-administer their medicines should be encouraged to do so, and where they are unable to do so, there must be appropriate training for carers so that they are able to administer medicines from original packaging.”

“We would encourage health and social care professionals to collaborate to ensure that the most appropriate intervention is made for each patient and is chosen from a selection of options including using original packs with appropriate support, medicines compliance aids, reminder charts and alarms, and labels with large print to name a few.”

Earlier, NHS also said in its guidance, “dosette boxes are not always available for free on the NHS and they’re not suitable for every type of medicine.”

MCA is often viewed as a best solution among elderly people, recently the BBC reported that Boots UK was criticised by some of its patients over non-availability of blister pack boxes, known as dosette boxes.

Boots told the BBC that the aids were “not always the most appropriate option”.

A Boots spokesperson added: “The latest Royal Pharmaceutical Society guidance indicates that the use of multi-compartment compliance aids is not always the most appropriate option for patients that need support to take their medicines at the right dose and time.

“Pharmacists are speaking with patients who we provide with MCCAs to discuss whether it is the right way to support them, depending on their individual circumstances and clinical needs.

“Alternative support might include large-print labels and a medicines reminder chart. In many cases, MCCAs will remain the most appropriate option for the patient, and we will continue to support them in this way.”

Here’s the RPS’s guidance on use of multi-compartment compliance aids which was published in July 2013.

BBC also reported that Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy said they would continue to offer MCCAs.

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