Pharmac issues request for pill reminder

Technological solution sought to make sure New Zealanders take their medicines correctly

Pharmac, the country’s pharmaceutical management agency, is seeking a technological solution to make sure New Zealanders take their prescribed medicines correctly.

The agency has issued a request for information for “products or services that use technology to support medication adherence for patients,” with the aim of avoiding the adverse health effects of missing a dose.

The solution could include mobile, digital or telecommunications approaches, it says, giving as examples, smartphone apps, text messaging or outbound phone calls, or use of a dedicated device. Pharmac adds that it “does not require information about blister packaging”, though this could be regarded as a “technology” to assist adherence to a medication regime.

The pharmaceutical agency wants to be made aware of any novel approaches to dealing with the challenge of ensuring patients take their medicines. It is particularly interested in “products and services that integrate with other technology, services and databases” Pharmac says, emphasising the usefulness of gaining “information on medication adherence [that can be] shared with the patient’s healthcare team.”

The agency wants practical evidence of success in their use and knowledge of which categories of patient the suggested products and services have helped most in the past.

Responses to the RFI are requested by March 11.

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