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Valley Pharmacy Stops Distributing 'Compliance Packed' Prescriptions

5 years 6 months 3 days ago Friday, June 02 2017 Jun 2, 2017 June 02, 2017 6:48 PM June 02, 2017 in News

MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley pharmacy is changing the way they administer their medication to some customers because of cost concerns.

The pharmacy said advanced technology prescription sorting is costing them too much. Some care providers are worried the change could put their patients and clients at risk.

Both care providers and pharmacists told CHANNEL 5 NEWS their biggest struggle with medicine is getting patients to take it correctly. They said adding in multiple prescriptions and several different doses a day can all get very confusing.

Gabby Salinas, co-owner of Lindos Momentos Adult Day Care in McAllen, said medications can sometimes be an afterthought for her clients.

“They have grandchildren to take care of and they have all these disease to think of, that their minds isn't always set on ‘What pills am I taking and when?’" Salinas explained.

Weekend prep for nurses at Lindos Moments consists of sorting their patients medicines into little sandwich baggies so they can stay adherent over the weekend.

Salinas said more than 95 percent of the 80 plus people who go to Lindos Moments take medicine.

“Eighty percent are on at least two medications,” said Salinas, “So when that number starts increasing how many different medications they take, that's when these issues of how to administer their medications are so important.”

A number of clients were getting their medicines from RGV Family Pharmacy. They came presorted in vitamin- pack looking pouches thanks to a special piece of equipment the pharmacy stopped using last month.

"The expense of running this particular operation with the number of clients we required we hung in there for two years. After two years we just couldn't afford to keep it up any longer,” explained Carlos Solis, co-owner of RGV Family Pharmacy.

Solis told CHANNEL 5 NEWS it costs about $100 an hour just to staff the room the equipment sits in, added to software licensing and upkeep fees at more than $2,000 a month. He said he wants to get the machine running again but they don’t have the clientele to support it.

"Sometimes you've been with a particular pharmacy for 15 years. The client has and they don't want to switch that loyalty to the other pharmacy,” Solis explained.

Salinas and other caregivers said they hope the pharmacy will fire up the machine again soon. They’re worried their patients could get sick if they don’t.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described taking medication correctly as medication adherence or medication compliance.

On average, more than 30 million people in the country take three or more medicines daily. CDC officials said 75 percent of adults are non-adherent in taking their medications. 

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