On World AIDS Day (December 1), Pharmacy Times published an article that listed seven ways pharmacists can help HIV-infected patients with medication adherence.
The importance of consistently taking prescribed medications is especially critical for these individuals to prevent resistance to the drugs from developing.
The tips came from Aaron Rigali, PharmD, who has established an HIV specialty program. Dr. Rigali is the director of Empath Health Pharmacy, which serves the members of Florida-based Empath Health, an integrated network of health services for those with chronic and advanced illnesses.
Dr. Rigali stresses that getting to know each patient’s particular situation and understanding the challenges they may be facing is crucial to providing adherence support. As he stated in the Pharmacy Times article, “The key here is no 2 patients are the same, and knowing your patient is the first step in assisting with adherence.”
Tools for Keeping on Track
Dr. Rigali mentioned using adherence blister cards as one of the seven tips because they make it easier for patients to remember to take the right medications at the right time. He uses Omnicell’s SureMed™ by Omnicell® cards in his pharmacy. These multiple medication blister cards organize medications by time of day, and day of the week. For example, the patient may have several different pills in the morning section, and a different combination of pills to take at lunch.
To take this adherence tool a step further, Omnicell is working with Medisafe, a provider of mobile medication management solutions, to integrate their digital medication adherence application with the SureMed by Omnicell cards for an improved adherence experience. This integration will be demonstrated at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting in the Omnicell booth #813 and at a special reception on Tuesday, December 8 for Omnicell customers.
Medication adherence is an important element of staying healthy for all patients, but with World AIDS Day taking place this week, it is fitting to focus on adherence for those who are living with challenges of HIV.