Perfectly filling a prescription should not be the only aim of the pharmacist. How the medication is packaged is very vital for the patient before he or she takes them home. The package should keep the medication in perfect and favorable conditions until the whole dosage has been consumed.
I’m not trying to be rude discussing something we all both already know but this to me feels like diarrhea, I don’t mean verbal diarrhea in case you are thinking ahead of me. Most community pharmacies in Kenya have almost 91% of there medications packaged in blister packs, this is not similar to what happens in our most depended government hospitals where the same comes in large containers and has to be prepacked into small packs. Not that I’m trying to say this is bad but what if Kenyans adopted plastic container prescription refill packages. I understand I’m not putting this across well, anyway most CCCs use refill bottles for ARVs it has worked! The issue of cost I know is tricky, and also space when it comes to container packaging, on the other hand, I’m not implying that all drugs should come packed in containers. We are all always trying to cut down cost and make healthcare provision affordable however efficiency is always better.
Well, it doesn’t make sense having to package medication to be used for five days in containers since the containers will be irrelevant after five days. These containers come in handy for medication like antipsychotics, antihypertensives, antidiabetes e.t.c… I mean medications that have to be taken for more than a month. It would be much easier and convenient if these containers were used in such scenarios, you carry your container to the pharmacy, your monthly dose is filled.
I know of some goon somewhere trying to say, ‘ooh! This guy is trying to market company X or Y with intentions of supplying containers’ … No. It’s only that the ideas didn’t sink into your skull. I know most pharmacists prefer blister packs to counting tablets each time a client comes to refill their monthly dose. Yea it’s awkward as a pharmacist to be seen counting tablets especially when you in a hurry and tablets keep falling on the floor and you have to pick them up.
The government has tried to some level, plastic packs keep medication free of moisture, it has helped in most hospitals. The major challenge is instructions written on this kind of packs gets erased easily soon before the patient finishes their dose. This is very confusing when the patient forgets how the drugs are supposed to be taken and the combination is of three or more drugs.
Okay fine, what if long-term patients kept their containers at home? The equation would still be balanced, they buy the medications in envelopes then go fill labeled containers at home. Medications well stored retains the same efficacy for the intended duration of time, good health is necessary than money.