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Medication Management

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The Medication Management Challenge
By Julie Fulmer-Mason, PharmD

(Page 1 of 3)
  • 1.8 billion prescription medications dispensed annually in U.S.
  • Nearly 75% of Americans do not take their medications as prescribed
    • Causes 125,000 deaths per year
    • Accounts for 10% of all hospital admissions
    • Direct result of 23% of new admissions to assisted living-type facilities
    • Costs US health care system about $290 billion per year

The Solutions
8 Ways to Improve Your Medication Adherence

Get Organized

  • Keep ALL active medications in one location and in their original containers.
  • Store medications in dry environment
    • Away from bathroom humidity, heat/steam in kitchen, moisture in refrigerator, direct sunlight
    • Liberate yourself from your pill bottles
  • Use an organizational system (pill box)
    • Promotes mobility
    • Increases awareness of missed doses and need to order refills

Dispose Unwanted/Expired Medications

  • Do not flush down toilet or sink.
  • Mix with unpleasant substance (kitty litter or coffee grounds), put in sealed container and dispose in trash
  • Call your garbage/recycling company for local services
  • Federal Drug Take-Back Program
    • Occurs about twice a year
    • Call garbage/recycling company for nearest location
    • Walgreens medication disposal envelope ($4.00)

Initiate Medication Reminder System

  • Dramatically reduces chance of missed doses
  • Coordinate medication taking with routine daily activities
  • For medication regimens dosed multiple times per day…
    • Utilize medication reminder alarm products
      • Electronic pill boxes or medication organizers
      • Cell phone apps
    • Make medications “mobile”


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