A new high-tech service that allows patients to get their prescription refills more easily has been introduced by Simpson’s Pharmacy and Simpson’s Apothecary.
MedAlign is a free service that lets the pharmacy synchronize patients’ refill medications so they can get their refills all at once instead of making multiple trips to the store.
Refills will be co-ordinated so that they are all lined up and run out at the same time. Pharmacists will also call the patients to remind them of an upcoming refill.
The ultimate goal of this service is to make the process of taking medications less challenging, said Sean Simpson, the owner of Simpson’s Pharmacy.
“The research has shown that by promoting medication synchronization and by doing a follow-up, we can help people to take medications that they’ve been prescribed and which are necessary,” said Simpson, explaining that by taking medication regularly, patients will do better in the long run.
People can receive their medication either in vials or in blister packs. Over the summer, the NOTL pharmacy will also be introducing pouch packaging, a portable, small clear package that can hold a number of different pills and will have the patient’s name on it as well as the date and time a medication needs to be taken.
The service is not “a rocket science,” said Simpson, as medication synchronization has been used in a number of pharmacies across Canada and in the United States for several years.
The pharmacy is using a database to keep track of patients and to remind them of medication renewals.
It’s a win-win situation for the pharmacy and doctors as well, said Simpson. The doctors are used to have several refill requests for different medications but with a new service, there may be only one renewal.
Sometimes a patient calls the pharmacy for refills right after taking their last pill. However, the pharmacy may not always have it available and the patient then could miss a regular dose. But when the pharmacist knows in advance that a patient will need a certain refill, it will give the dispensary time to have the medication ordered in, said Simpson.
The MedAlign service also includes a mobile app, called eCare@Pharmasave, which allows people to look over their medication records and set reminders.
Another tool is coming soon: an interactive machine called Spencer, will be providing an even more enhanced level of care.
It will be loaded with the patient’s pre-packaged medication which will then be dispensed when needed. It can also remind people to measure their blood pressure or blood sugar level. The in-home machine will be released later this summer.