July 20, 2020

Making meds easier


As a pharmacist, the most medications I’ve ever seen one patient on during my career was 52. As a patient, I’m not sure how I could keep all that straight if it was myself. Who could?

In fact, 75 percent of Americans have trouble remembering their medicine, according a study found published the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

A solution: enter the world of your pharmacy in a box. There are pharmacies that provide something called Pharmacy Compliance Packaging, which is all the medications a patient takes put into blister packs they can tear off and take at different time points during a day. Most of these boxes can be shipped to a home as well. PillPack, now part of Amazon, made this type of packaging famous. However, there are several pharmacies right here in the Midwest that also provide this type of packaging, sometimes for free and with customer service to back it up.

Below are a few of these more local options for compliance packaging. It’s certainly not a fully inclusive list:


Pharmacy compliance chart


When Should You Consider Using Compliance Packaging?

The pharmacists in this space generally say that anyone on five or more medications could benefit from compliance packaging. Some compliance packaging pharmacies can include over-the-counter medications like vitamins or supplements inside the compliance packaging as well. It depends upon the patient and the situation.

Employers should consider sharing compliance pharmacy packaging pharmacies within their pharmacy networks for patients who might be high utilizers of pharmacy benefits, in order to keep patients on maintenance medications, healthier, and less likely to need acute medical care for not taking their medications.

Compliance Pharmacy Packaging: Questions to Ask Your Pharmacy

Questions to ask your current pharmacy if you think compliance packaging or ‘pharmacy in a box’ might be right for you or a loved one:

  • Is the pharmacy licensed to serve you where you or the patient live?
  • Does the pharmacy offer compliance pharmacy packaging at all?
  • How many medications does the pharmacist recommend for considering compliance pharmacy packaging?
  • If the pharmacy offers this service, is there a cost associated with using it?
  • Will the pharmacy ship the compliance package for free?
  • Do they provide medication sync up services if the prescriptions have been filled at different times?
  • How do refills work?

If you or a loved one needs help remembering to take their meds, this might be a great option for them. Employers should also consider this to keep their employees healthier, happier, and able to focus on staying well and working more productively.

Erin L. Albert

Authored By

Erin L. Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD, PAHM

Pharmacy Benefit Practice Leader
Meet Erin L.