Superdrug has announced that it will be offering a free and convenient multiple medication pouching service when providing NHS repeat online prescriptions.
The new service – called easymed – uses innovative robotic technology and artificial intelligence to dispense medication, creating a more streamlined process that aims to make medication simpler.
The compnay says this helps to reduce confusion for patients by eliminating the scheduling and counting that can be challenging for those who take multiple medications daily while helping support the new NHS long term plan.
“Non-adherence to medication regimens is estimated to cost the NHS in excess of £500 million each year. At a time when all positive support matters, Superdrug is launching this service to support patients in managing their medication, hoping to improve compliance and reduce the cost to the NHS from wasted medication,” the company has said.
Claimed to the first of its kind in the UK, easymed simplifies medication compliance by conveniently packaging all of a patient’s pills that are suitable to be pouched into small pre-packaged dose-specific pouches, indicating which pills should be taken when, for an entire month. These tailored pouches are dispensed on a roll and delivered in a recyclable box.
Shiraz Khan, Superdrug’s head of healthcare operations, said: ”Our aim is to continuously introduce new ways to make everyday healthcare easier, safer and more accessible. easymed does exactly that. It uses the very latest technology to make medication dispensing safer and more sanitary and delivers better patient outcomes by making it easier for them to adhere to a multiple medicine regime.”
Medication compliance aids can help patients manage their medications with ease and increase adherence to dosing regimens, however, the current options on the market may be fiddly and difficult for some patients, particularly the elderly, the company says.
Around 22 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women were taking at least three prescribed medications according to the ‘Health Survey for England 2013’. This number rises with age with more than 50 per cent of those aged between 65 and 74, who answered the survey stating they were on at least three medications from their doctor.
Superdrug Health Ambassador Dr Zoe Williams said: “Some patients struggle to take medication correctly for a whole range of reasons, from memory problems to dexterity issues, and the higher the number of medicines they have prescribed, the harder it can be.
“easymed pouches hope to make it easier for patients to be concordant with their prescribed regimen, which can make life easier and ensure better management of their conditions, whilst also saving money for the NHS.”
The easymed service has been launched to support patients who are on multiple medications, a patient is given the option to sign up for free for Superdrug’s service when they order their NHS repeat prescriptions online with Superdrug.