Pharmacy Speaker: Rx Compliance is Two-Way Street

To improve compliance in patients taking their prescriptions, supermarket pharmacists need to take a greater interest in the person, and engage in more two-way communication, according to a speaker at the FMI Supermarket Pharmacy Conference yesterday, which is co-located with the FMI Show.

LAS VEGAS — To improve compliance in patients taking their prescriptions, supermarket pharmacists need to take a greater interest in the person, and engage in more two-way communication, according to a speaker at the FMI Supermarket Pharmacy Conference here yesterday, which is co-located with the FMI Show. In a conference session covering a wide array of issues relating to compliance, Bruce Berger, professor and head of pharmacy care systems, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., said, “They have to know that the health care provider cares about them. One of the keys is being empathetic” — the pharmacist needs to reflect back what the patient is telling them, he said. “When faced with ambivalence or resistance, explore don’t explain.” Any attempts to improve adherence must involve the patient in the decision-making process, according to Berger. The patient must be involved in setting goals of treatment that are relevant to the patient improving adherence, he added. “Motivational interviewing is not about motivating patients, it is about assessing their motivation,” Berger said. Clearer dosing instructions and effective reminders also can help compliance, he said.

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