Stouffville Wishing Well Pharmacy
Medication is a critical component of numerous treatment protocols. However, for the medication to be successful, it is imperative that patients adhere strictly to the prescribed regimen. This is often a challenging endeavor, particularly for individuals managing multiple health conditions and concomitantly taking several medications1. One potential solution to improve medication adherence is to consider the form or modality of the medication being administered.
The term "medication adherence" denotes a patient's active, cooperative, and voluntary commitment to adhere to a healthcare provider's instructions regarding their medication regimen. This concept comprises three distinct phases: initiation (the inception of the medication via the first dose), implementation (the degree to which the patient follows the prescribed regimen), and persistence (the duration until the cessation of the treatment as instructed by the healthcare provider)2. Adherence to these phases is vital for achieving optimal health outcomes, but a significant proportion of individuals struggle with this, leading to adverse health outcomes and increased healthcare expenditure.
Research indicates that the form of medication can significantly impact a patient's adherence to the treatment. For instance, orodispersible forms of medication, which can be swallowed without water, are often more conducive to regular patient adherence than traditional solid dosage forms2.
This is where "pharmaceutical compounding" comes into play. This process involves the creation of custom medications tailored to meet specific patient needs. Although not widespread, it holds considerable potential for bolstering medication adherence. For example, a study found that patients with acne preferred a specially compounded tretinoin lotion over the conventional cream, while patients with psoriasis preferred creams, ointments, and foams2.
In the province of Ontario, pharmacists play a pivotal role in fostering medication adherence. They do this by providing comprehensive patient education about their medications, conducting regular follow-ups, and troubleshooting any issues that arise. During routine visits, they can confirm whether patients are complying with their prescribed treatment regimen, discuss any challenges, and assist in devising a personalized adherence action plan3.
Upon the issuance of a new prescription, a pharmacist will invariably emphasize the importance of medication adherence and provide guidance on what to do in the event of a missed dose. If the pharmacist identifies a patient as being at risk of poor adherence, additional counseling and services are offered. They may also use point-of-care devices such as a blood pressure monitor or glucose meter to illustrate the ramifications of poor adherence, thus providing a basis for discussing non-pharmacological interventions and lifestyle modifications. They meticulously document any intervention and/or advice provided to promote medication adherence, and when appropriate, notify the relevant healthcare professionals about the patient’s pharmacotherapy status3.
In conclusion, the form of medication can substantially impact the degree of patient adherence, and by extension, treatment outcomes and overall patient health. Compounding pharmacies can contribute significantly to this by creating medications that are tailored to the individual patient, thereby improving the feasibility and acceptability of the treatment. Further research is needed to elucidate the role of compounding in enhancing medication adherence.
Pharmacists serve a critical function in this process. They provide the necessary education, support, and follow-up consultations that can significantly improve patient adherence to medication regimens, thereby contributing to improved health outcomes. This underscores the importance of establishing a strong relationship with your pharmacist, particularly in a compounding pharmacy where the medication can be customized to your specific needs.
Visit us at our pharmacy's website https://www.humberbaypharmacy.com/ and our compounding page https://www.humberbaypharmacy.com/compounding.html