Medication is the cornerstone of most treatment plans, and its success hinges on patients adhering to their prescribed regimens. Achieving this can be particularly challenging for individuals managing multiple conditions and juggling various medications1. However, an often-underexplored aspect of promoting adherence lies in the form of the medication itself.
Medication adherence is defined as an active, cooperative, and voluntary participation of the patient in following recommendations from a healthcare provider regarding dosing regimens. This behavior is further divided into three steps: initiation (when the patient takes the first dose), implementation (the extent to which the prescribed dosing regimen is followed by the patient), and persistence (the period until treatment discontinuation)2. Despite its vital importance in public health, non-adherence is a significant issue, contributing to adverse outcomes and increased healthcare costs.
Studies have indicated that therapy-related factors, including the type of dosage form, can significantly influence adherence. For instance, orodispersible dosage forms, which can be swallowed without water, have been shown to improve patient adherence compared to conventional solid dosage forms2.
Pharmaceutical compounding, despite its low prevalence, plays a crucial role in promoting medication adherence. By tailoring medicines to cater to special needs and preferences, compounding can positively reinforce treatment initiation and persistence, especially in a pharmacy setting. For example, patients with acne preferred a tretinoin lotion over the cream, while psoriasis patients preferred creams, ointments, and foams for their condition2.
In Ontario, pharmacists are ideally positioned to provide specific medication-related activities that result in an integrated and holistic approach to Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM), including medication adherence. They play a critical role in addressing adherence problems through education, support, intervention, and repeated short-term follow-up or consultations. Their point of presence – during refills or routine visits – allows them to confirm that patients are adhering to their prescribed treatment regimen, discuss adherence problems and challenges, and help patients develop a personal adherence action plan3.
During the filling of a new prescription, pharmacists emphasize the importance of medication adherence and counsel patients identified as at risk of poor adherence. Adherence assessment and counselling are offered upon each subsequent patient visit. The pharmacist documents any intervention and advice offered to promote medication adherence and notifies the appropriate healthcare professionals of the patient’s pharmacotherapy status when necessary3.
In conclusion, the form of medication plays a significant role in patient adherence, and compounding pharmacies can leverage this to provide patient-centered care. By considering patients' preferences and needs, they can tailor the form of medication to enhance adherence, optimize treatment outcomes, and improve patient health. However, more research is needed to fully understand the influence of compounding on adherence promotion.
The role of pharmacists in this process is instrumental. They provide the necessary education, support, and intervention required to enhance medication adherence and improve patient health outcomes. This highlights the importance of maintaining a close relationship with your pharmacist, particularly in a compounding pharmacy setting, where the form of medication can be customized to the patient's needs and preferences.
Visit us at our pharmacy's website https://www.humberbaypharmacy.com/ and our compounding page https://www.humberbaypharmacy.com/compounding.html