Do you ever have difficulty organizing the medications you or someone you care for has to take, often several times each day? Have you ever found yourself confused about which medications should be taken and when? And have you ever made a mistake in doling out pills for yourself or someone for whom you are a caregiver?If any of these situations apply, as they do for most of us, Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding has a free service that will put your mind at ease while assuring that the meds you are in charge of will be delivered in the correct dosages, at the right time of day and with no effort or worries on your part.
It’s called Medicine-On-Time, and the only requirement for enrollment in this no-charge program is that all of your prescriptions be filled by the talented team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding, the only pharmacy in the Lowcountry and one of a handful statewide to offer it.
Here’s how it works: the Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding team sits down with you and gives a thorough review of all the medications you take or that you oversee for someone you care for. Then, they set up a once-monthly delivery of these important prescription drugs in easy-to-use form, grouped by the dates that they are needed and the time of day for their dosage.
The pharmacy team puts together simple, color-coded calendar cards with plastic “bubbles” similar to those you might find enclosing over-the-counter items such as cough drops. Each bubble contains the precise medications needed, and the cards are clearly marked with the correct date and time they are required. Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding delivers them right to your door.
One month later, you receive a new set of cards with your important medications, plus any changes in the prescriptions ordered by your physicians.
Pharmacist Dr. Cynthia Feldman, the owner of Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding, is the moving force behind Medicine-On-Time and its foremost proponent.
“It is critical for patients of any age to be able to manage their often multiple medications correctly for them to work properly,” Dr. Feldman said. “And it is particularly critical to make this important requirement easier for seniors, who may have cognitive issues, and for their caregivers.”
“Correctly organizing needed medications is a thankless task. It takes time,” she added. “It’s often confusing and it’s all too easy to mishandle, spill or drop and lose often tiny and neutral-colored pills.”
Among the benefits of Medicine-On-Time, in addition to convenience, are reduction in adverse drug interactions, decreased or eliminated gaps in the patient’s medication therapy, fewer falls due to overmedicating or undermedicating – especially for seniors – and reduced need for hospital visits and even admission to nursing homes.
“But Medicine-On-Time isn’t a benefit just for seniors or their caregivers,” Dr. Feldman said. “It is also a great help for anyone, including children and young adults with special medical needs.”
“Sweetgrass Pharmacy & Compounding’s Medicine-On-Time program is very labor intensive for our skilled staff,” she added. “But if it helps patients and caregivers manage their prescriptions properly and gives them peace of mind, we think it’s well worth that additional effort.”
“I believe that Medicine-On-Time is the wave of the future for full-service local pharmacies such as ours,” she concluded. “Right now, patients in need won’t find anything like it anywhere else. And, of course, the price is right – it’s free.”
By Bill Farley