After all, your doctor won’t change your prescriptions based on whether they’re delivered to your home or if you drive down to the corner drugstore to pick them up. So it’s all the same, right?
You might be surprised to learn that a growing body of research indicates a number of ways in which patients benefit from pharmacy delivery services, especially when it’s included as part of a comprehensive medication management program.
Let’s take a look at five important advantages that are especially good news for anyone taking multiple medications for one or more chronic conditions.
#1: Easier Medication Adherence
Taking all of your medications correctly — also called adherence — can be more challenging if you’ve got multiple prescriptions, each one coming with its own set of instructions.
Purchasing all of your medications separately at a brick-and-mortar drugstore adds to that complexity.
But suppose your medications are delivered right to your door, already presorted into a single package, organized by day and time, and with clear instructions for taking them correctly. Then all of a sudden the process becomes much easier.
- A study presented at the 2016 International Stroke Conference looked at nearly 100,000 patients after hospital discharge between 2006 and 2015. Overall, patients who received their medications by mail achieved adherence 74% of the time, while those who used a traditional pharmacy were only 47% adherent.
- A separate study from 2010, which was cited in an earlier blog post by Integrity Pharmacy, found similar results for diabetes patients — those receiving medications via home delivery were more likely to have good adherence than those who purchased medications from a brick-and-mortar pharmacy.
#2: Greater Medication Accuracy
Pharmacy delivery services frequently make use of advanced computer technologies to ensure that your prescriptions are filled correctly.
- Delivery pharmacies may achieve greater accuracy compared to brick-and-mortar drugstores.
- One study found that while the drugstore error rate was about 1 in every 50 prescriptions filled (or 1.72%), the error rate for medication delivery was less than 1 in 1,000 prescriptions (or only 0.075%).
With a medication management service that includes home delivery, you can have confidence that you’ll be getting the right medications, dosages, and dosage forms. This may reduce your risk of adverse reactions and hospitalization.
#3: Greater Efficiency
Another benefit of using advanced computer technology and robotic dispensing tools is greater efficiencies throughout the medication management process.
Compared to traditional pharmacies, delivery pharmacies improve efficiencies for patients in a number of ways:
- Can accommodate larger quantities of prescriptions
- Enhanced quality
- Reduced costs associated with filling prescriptions
- Pharmacists able to focus on patients’ clinical needs instead of counting pills
- May generate potential savings for patients and payers alike
#4: Reduces Medical Waste
Unused prescription drugs become a form of medical waste — with serious financial, health and environmental consequences.
For example, pharmaceutical contamination has been found in drinking water in many communities across the country.
But delivery of medication to the home — in the correct amount and dosage — reduces the risk of unused pills getting disposed into our landfills or water supply.
- A 2013 study by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Defense found many benefits of delivering medications to military personnel, veterans and their families. One benefit cited in the study was less waste from prescriptions going unused.
- A 2011 study found that mail-order cholesterol medications were less likely to go to waste than the exact same medications purchased at a traditional pharmacy.
#5: Saves Money
Nonadherence alone costs Americans between $100 billion and $300 billion annually in avoidable medical expenses.
With a customized medication management program that includes home delivery of your medications each month, you only pay for the medications you actually use. And you may be less likely to face the expenses that come with medication errors.
When you add up the benefits of easy adherence, greater accuracy and efficiency, and less pharmaceutical waste, home delivery of medications is a great way to control your healthcare costs over the long term.
Do you have questions about pharmacy delivery services for your medications?
Contact us at Integrity Pharmacy. We’ll provide helpful information on how a customized medication management program can improve your quality of life.