Emily Klopper: Organising and storing medicines – Storing medicines using dose aids

Listen to patients and health professionals speak about their experience with taking multiple medicines.

Emily Klopper
Main occupation: Pharmacist (Managing Partner)
Years in clinical practice: 10
Qualifications: BPharm MPS, Grad Dip ExSci, MEd

Emily Klopper, pharmacist, discusses the advantages of using Webster-paks if people are getting confused by their medicines. Although some of the people we spoke to felt they were too young to consider using them, Emily has found they work well for some of her young customers who take multiple medicines.

Generally, I would probably suggest that we pack for them. So, we do offer that service using the Webster packing system or Medico-paks. Some people don't like … it's usually met with … some people aren't very happy about it. I think, for many people who are a little bit older, it is the start of what can be their losing of their independence, in terms of losing control over something, which is also another issue that comes into play here, where if they’re still trying to live on their own or with their partner and they're beginning to concede that things are changing, that can be a difficult process. 

But certainly, if someone is really confused and they are on a lot of medications, I definitely suggest the pack and we do it working with the team, in terms of the GP and that patient and try and explain the benefit of what that would be, in terms of we then look after the scripts, we look after all the tablets and each week they get a weekly dosing and it's all set out. It's very easy to follow. 

Um, doesn't mean they still don't get confused. Doesn't mean that we still don't get packs returned with three days not taken, but I think it's still assisting and, if they're not having to figure out which bottle to take the tablet from at what time, we're helping them as much as we can and we also explain that it's better than them trying to do it at home, if they are really confused … Yeah, my experience is that the younger patients have been OK with it. 

We have another young lady who is actually a doctor … she works at [hospital] and she's got quite a few chronic conditions, but it helps her. It's one less thing for her to think about, which is very similar to the kidney transplant patient. It's ... someone else is organising it for them and it really is seen as one less thing to think about during the week. They don't have to coordinate all the tablets or make sure they've got all the prescriptions. We do that for them.

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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia.