You Can Take a Horse to Water

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Q. What is the most common health problem across the western world, affecting 40 to 50% of the population group, costing an estimated $100 BILLION dollars in preventable medical costs, and is thought to cause at LEAST 100,000 preventable deaths each year?

A. The simple act of not taking your medicines regularly as prescribed. Medical non-adherence or non compliance is real, and I promise you - it's happening in your community right now. You would be aghast to see the quantities of untaken medicines returned to us.

SO why does this happen? A number of reasons, first of all it's hard to change people's behaviours. I tell patients "you’ve got to make it as easy as possible for you to take your medicines": keep them in an easily accessible place that you see often, and then make a conscious effort to take them for at least 2 weeks - it takes 2 weeks to build a habit. For chronic conditions like high blood pressure or Diabetes, when you take your medicines, you don’t immediately notice an improvement, so we don’t take them. However, high blood sugars and blood pressure are risk factors for a number of serious conditions such as heart attack and stroke - so it's important you fully understand WHY these medicines have been prescribed.

This is where your friendly neighbourhood Pharmacist is an absolute superstar: we are super accessible, and we can make time to meet up to discuss the pros and the cons of taking these medicines. The cons of taking medicines, their side effects, are important;  but are quite often blown way out of proportion from good ol’ Dr Google - so again: talk to us.  It's so hard to get accurate, credible information these days, but your experienced community Pharmacist has seen a lot in their time. We can help you make the most of your medicines. Also if you regularly take 4 or more medicines, you may benefit from having your medicines packed into compliance packs.  At Roslyn Pharmacy, we offer two different types of packs, and rest assured we make them for a number of people of all different ages - it's not just for the oldies! These make it easier to take your medicines regularly and thus ensure you get the maximum benefit from them.

Your trusty phone may also help in a couple of ways. Firstly, our Pharmacy can automatically message you when you have any repeats due or have any medicines in store to collect. When you come in, it's a great opportunity to talk to us about your medicines.  Also, the newest update to your iPhones will have a medications reminder app that alerts you each day to take your medicines. This will be available on all Apple iPhones later in Spring. We have seen demos of the app and it looks awesome. Once it's available, we can help you set it up if you need. As always, if anything written above interests you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help!