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Improving medication adherence: a framework for community pharmacy-based interventions

Authors Pringle J, Coley K

Received 24 July 2015

Accepted for publication 8 October 2015

Published 16 November 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 175—183


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Janice Pringle,1 Kim C Coley2

1Program Evaluation and Research Unit, Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 2Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Abstract: Evidence supports that patient medication adherence is suboptimal with patients typically taking less than half of their prescribed doses. Medication nonadherence is associated with poor health outcomes and higher downstream health care costs. Results of studies evaluating pharmacist-led models in a community pharmacy setting and their impact on medication adherence have been mixed. Community pharmacists are ideally situated to provide medication adherence interventions, and effective strategies for how they can consistently improve patient medication adherence are necessary. This article suggests a framework to use in the community pharmacy setting that will significantly improve patient adherence and provides a strategy for how to apply this framework to develop and test new medication adherence innovations. The proposed framework is composed of the following elements: 1) defining the program's pharmacy service vision, 2) using evidence-based, patient-centered communication and intervention strategies, 3) using specific implementation approaches that ensure fidelity, and 4) applying continuous evaluation strategies. Within this framework, pharmacist interventions should include those services that capitalize on their specific skill sets. It is also essential that the organization's leadership effectively communicates the pharmacy service vision. Medication adherence strategies that are evidence-based and individualized to each patient's adherence problems are most desirable. Ideally, interventions would be delivered repeatedly over time and adjusted when patient's adherence circumstances change. Motivational interviewing principles are particularly well suited for this. Providing effective training and ensuring that the intervention can be delivered with fidelity within a specified workflow process are also essential for success. Utilizing this proposed framework will lead to greater and consistent success when implementing pharmacist-led medication adherence interventions in the community pharmacy setting.

Keywords: medication adherence, community pharmacy services, pharmacies, implementation science

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