Researchers at the University of East Anglia have developed guidance for prescribing monitored dosage systems (MDS).
The new ‘Medication Adherence Support Decision Aid’ (MASDA) guidance aims to help healthcare teams to evaluate the appropriateness of MDS along with other compliance aids such as easy open medicine bottles, coloured labelling, social support or medication review.
The guidance also encourages prescribers to “consider the emotional and practical barriers that might stop patients taking their medication correctly”, according to lead researcher Dr Debi Bhattacharya.
Emotional barriers can include the patient’s levels of anxiety, confidence, motivation or experience of unwanted side effects.
In a new study, the research team finds that pharmacies are giving out twice as many MDS as they were ten years ago without understanding the benefit to patients.
The research, ‘Quantifying and characterising Multi-compartment Compliance Aid provision; a national survey of community pharmacies’ is available online. This concludes that there is limited evidence of pharmacists considering patient choice or risk of adverse events arising from sudden increased adherence prior to initiation.
MASDA guidance has been endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.