Retail News Breaks
Thrifty White introduces 'smart' cap to spur Rx compliance
August 22nd, 2012
PLYMOUTH, Minn. – In another move to help patients stick to their drug regimens, Thrifty White Pharmacy is offering the Rx Timer Cap, a "smart" cap for prescription medication bottles.
Like a stopwatch, the Rx Timer Cap automatically counts the minutes and hours since patients last took their medication.
The regional drug chain said Wednesday it will give away a free Rx Timer Cap for each medication that customers enroll in its Ready Refill automated prescription refill program or its Medication Synchronization program. Additional Rx Timer Caps also may be purchased at any of Thrifty White's 85 drug stores.
The Rx Timer Cap replaces a regular vial cap and sports a built-in LCD timer that, like a stopwatch, automatically counts the minutes and hours since patients last took their medication.
Thrifty White said it's the first retail pharmacy chain in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Iowa to offer the Rx Timer Cap to customers.
"The No. 1 problem in treating illness today is patient failure to take prescription medication correctly, regardless of age," Thrifty White pharmacist Tanya Schmidt said in a statement. "Our stores receive several calls a day asking, 'What should I do if I forgot to take my medication?' "
Thrifty White has taken a proactive approach to improve patients' medication adherence by making it more convenient for them to ensure that refills for maintenance medications are filled ahead of time and ready when needed. Besides the Ready Refill and Medication Synchronization programs, the chain recently introduced the HealthyPackRx, in which patients get a box containing 30-day supplies of all their maintenance medications — organized into individual packages labeled with the medication, date and time to be taken.
Rx Timer Cap LLC, maker of the smart medication cap, noted that the user-friendliness of its device also helps promote medication compliance. According to the company, the Rx Time Cap — unlike medication reminders and medication alerts — features automatice, foolproof activation because simply opening and closing the container resets the timer, meaning there are no alarms to program, no buttons to press and no instructions to read.
"By providing patients with this simple yet critical bit of information about when they last took their medication, the Rx Timer Cap helps train our internal clocks as to when it is time to take the next medication," stated Richard Million Burke, founder and president of Rx Timer Cap LLC.
The company pointed out that although many factors contribute to poor medication compliance, a 2005 Harris survey found that the most common reason for not taking medication was forgetfulness. The Rx Timer Cap directly addresses that problem by automatically keeping track of the interval between doses, providing daily feedback to patients.
In addition, about 25% of caregivers report problems with medication management, the company said, noting that the Rx Timer Cap enables caregivers to know exactly how long it has been since patients took their last dose, preventing medication overdose and increasing safety by alerting patients when someone else has opened their medication.
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