The Opportunity in Adherence

The cover story of ComputerTalk’s November/December issue looked at the trends in community pharmacy and the opportunities that exist for growth. If there is a trend from this year that I think will continue to offer opportunity in 2017, it is adherence programs. ComputerTalk’s Will Lockwood wrote about this in our cover story “The trends around patient adherence and pharmacy star rating performance will continue to hold center stage in 2017. Our survey results suggest that several technologies, including patient messaging and engagement tools, as well as med sync, MTM, and packaging, will be foundational for pharmacies’ efforts to position themselves for achievement here.”

One company that has responded to the adherence program movement is Medicine-On-Time. For more than 30 years, it has offered pharmacy multi-dose packaging, the well-known “calendar cards” that are color-coded by medication administration time, and software. The cards put Medicine-On-Time in a good position to expand. In our November/December Back Page interview with VP of Sales and Marketing John Hassell, he explains how Medicine-On-Time has updated its software platform, developed its own automation, and expanded its integration with pharmacy management systems and automation providers to give new options to the pharmacy owner looking to use adherence to capture additional revenue for the pharmacy.  

“We know that patients participating in an adherence program will fill and take their chronic medications about three to four more times per year than those patients that are not enrolled in an adherence program,” says Hassell.  

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Pharmacy owners can tailor adherence programs to fit their business model and patient demographic. As pointed out by Hassell and other vendors in our November/December cover story, it’s important to consider the types of packaging and software that can support the pharmacy’s goals for its adherence workflow and patient outcomes. In speaking with pharmacists this year, I’ve heard about a range of solutions, from manual filling to totally automated solutions. The outcome was the same, though, as patient loyalty and satisfaction increased, and positive health outcomes were documented for payors. Pharmacy owners showed their value in the outcomes-based healthcare environment.