Your Pharmacist Can Be Your Adherence Ally
December 1999/January 2000
Achieving optimal clinical benefits from your medication depends upon how well you adhere to the medication's instructions.
Adherence can be defined as a mutual agreement between you and your physician to follow your physician's specific set of orders.
A variety of factors influence the likelihood of medication adherence.
Your pharmacist can play a vital role in promoting adherence with medications. Your pharmacist can assess your understanding of the medication and its use, interact and maintain communication with your physician, provide education and counseling, and build a positive partnership between you and your health care provider.
As a patient, you can follow a few simple steps in order to enhance your own adherence with your medication. These are:
As a pharmacist, I use a variety of methods in assisting patients to adhere to their medication orders.
For example, I have provided containers for organizing pills for patients. Some of these containers have alarms to remind patients when to take the next dose.
My regular customers are given a dosage-reminder beeper. These devices, which are programmed to signal when it is time to take a dose of your medication, can be carried in one's pocket or hung from a key chain.
Studies suggest that perhaps half of all prescription drugs may not produce the desired results because they are not used properly. Work with your health care providers to find the best way to ensure that you practice adherence with your medication.
Mohammed Etimann, R.Ph., can be reached by calling (213) 792-9359 or at Total Remedy & Prescription Center in Los Angeles, (877) 481-1130.
This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.