Boots announces new change to Advantage Card
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These dosette boxes are simple, they have two columns and seven rows; the two columns are labelled “morning” and “night” while each row marks a day of the week.
Subsequently, this makes it far easier for someone to know what medication to take and when.
However, Boots has been criticised amid a decision to allow some pharmacies to say they can no longer have dosette boxes.
Boots said the boxes were “not always the most appropriate option”.
Boots added the boxes were not always available for free on the NHS and weren’t suitable for every type of medication.
Normally, the boxes, also known in the health industry as multi-compartment compliance aids, are delivered to patient’s addresses.
On dosette boxes the NHS says: “If the person you care for has a complicated medicine regime with different pills taken at different times of the day, a pharmacist may decide to provide them in dosette boxes.”
It recommends patients should ask their pharmacist for more information about dosette boxes if they think they would be helpful.
In response to criticism from patients, a Boots spokesperson said they were following recent guidance: “The latest
Royal Pharmaceutical Society guidance indicates that the use of multi-compartment compliance aids is not always the most appropriate option for patients that need support to take their medicines at the right dose and time.
“Pharmacists are speaking with patients who we provide with MCCAs to discuss whether it is the right way to support them, depending on their individual circumstances and clinical needs.
“Alternative support might include large-print labels and a medicines reminder chart. In many cases, MCCAs will remain the most appropriate option for the patient, and we will continue to support them in this way.”
The guidance Boots is referring to is guidance the Royal Pharmaceutical Society drew up before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In this guidance they evaluated the benefits and disadvantages of dosette boxes.
It said: “A multi-compartment compliance aid is one tool amongst many to help with medicines use but other interventions also exist, which as part of a person-centred and quality approach, must also be considered.”
Although it isn’t clear how many pharmacies have withdrawn the use of dosette boxes, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies has said most of its members can supply the boxes despite the cost.
Rival pharmacy chains Superdrug and Lloyds pharmacy said they will continue to offer the boxes.
Professor Gil Livingston of Imperial College London added: “[Dosette] boxes enable people with mild dementia or some memory problems to take their own medication and remain independent.
“They can check that they have taken it and they know they have taken the right thing, as it is already sorted out. Later on in dementia or with other disabilities, it enables paid carers and families to help them take their medication and remain in the community and remain as well as possible.”
Pharmacist Thorrun Govind added: “Patients on [dosette boxes] should be reassessed frequently to ensure it is an appropriate intervention for them as an individual.”
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