Patients who have a difficult time maintaining their medication regimens have the option of hooking into a new system that could help foster compliance. Available from Fremont, Calif.-based Aprex Corp. is Dosing Partners, an in-home electronic medication monitoring and support service. The new system was developed in conjunction with Pfizer Inc.
The system is available to patients through their employers or through managed care organizations, Janice Wohltmann, chairman and CEO, Aprex, told Drug Topics. Individuals can enroll by calling a toll-free number: 1-(800) 916-3535.
“Dosing Partners demonstrates how the emerging field of telemedicine can assist patients with their medication-taking in the privacy and comfort of their homes,” Wohltmann explained. We can now electronically measure when people take their medicines and call them on the phone to get them back on track when they miss taking their medications as they need to.”
Once enrolled, participants will receive a Dosing Partners starter kit from Aprex, The kit contains a SmartCap and bottle for each monitored medication.
While SmartCap resembles a regular pill bottle cap, it has advancing numbers that let the user know how many times the bottle was opened each day and how long it has been since it was last opened. The SmartCap can also be set to beep when it is time for a medication dose. And in the process, SmartCap electronically stores all the data.
The starter kit also includes a HomeLink, a modem that plugs into the participant’s phone line. At the end of the day, the patient sets the SmartCap on the HomeLink. The HomeLink then sends to the Dosing Partners health team, which includes nurses, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals, a summary of the information that was stored in the SmartCap. If a compliance problem is detected, a member of the health-care team will contact the patient the next day and urge him or her to get back on track.
At the end of the month, the patient will receive a summary report of all recorded information. If the participant requests it, a summary will also be mailed to his or her physician. Complete confidentiality is maintained at all times, Aprex said.
“Dosing Partners is not geared to the occasional users of antibiotics for, say, a urinary tract infection,” Wohltmann said. “It is geared to those individuals with serious conditions who could run up a high health-care bill from noncompliance with medications.”
Persons who might especially benefit from the system are those with epilepsy, Type II diabetes, or women with highrisk pregnancies. Aprex hopes that large employers will market Dosing Partners to their employees or retirees as part of their wellness programs.
The cost of participating in Dosing Partners is about $2.50 daily, or $75 per month, with an initial installation cost of around $250. In the long run, this will cost the health-care system fewer dollars than hospitalizations or emergency room visits resulting from medication noncompliance, Wohltmann maintained.
Revco D.S. Inc., Twinsburg, Ohio, may consider offering Dosing Partners to its patients. “Revco is always interested in anything that could prevent noncompliance with medications,” said Tom Dingledy, director of public relations-Revco. Agreeing with Aprex that the cost of the system would be less than the cost of medical care for noncompliance, Dingledy said a deciding factor might be whether or not Revco would share in the profit margins for Dosing Partners.
Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
Gannon, Kathi. “Keeping track; new in-home system helps patient stay compliant.” Drug Topics 6 Feb. 1995: 60. General OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.