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NP-014 Medicine boxes for distribution of paid pharmaceuticals to outpatients in the future
  1. C Olesen,
  2. MN Pedersen,
  3. KBU Anthonsen,
  4. MS Wellner
  1. Hospital Pharmacy Central Denmark Region, Aarhus, Denmark


What was done?The process for distribution of paid pharmaceuticals (PPs) to outpatients in Central Denmark Region (13053 km2, 1.3 million inhabitants) is made uniform and more flexible for the patients. Going forward, the patients will pick up their PPs in medicine boxes.

Why was it done?In Denmark, some expensive medications are provided without cost to a selected group of patients (paid pharmaceuticals, PPs). Approximately 35000 patients are receiving PPs from the hospitals in Central Denmark Region, 40% from the hospital pharmacy, the rest directly from hospital wards. Going forward, the hospital pharmacy will take over a larger percentage of these patients. The reasoning behind this decision is to free up time at the hospital wards, increase quality and patient safety and create a model that meets patient needs.

How was it done? During development of the new model for distribution, patients and hospital staff were asked to identify important factors when handling and picking up PPs. A taskforce has assessed different models, and decided to test a medicine box. When picking up PPs from the medicine box, the patient will receive a personal code delivered by SMS. They will enter the code in the medicine box to unlock the box and pick up their PPs.

What has been achieved? The medicine box was evaluated by patients in a questionnaire (n=71). 87% checked ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ when evaluating distribution of PPs by the medicine box, while only 64% chose either of these categories for distribution by the hospital wards. An impressive 94% checked ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ for operation of the medicine box.

The medicine box seems to address patient needs in a sufficient manner and fulfill the chosen standards for a future distribution model for PPs.

What next?90% of patients receiving PPs from the hospital are expected to use the medicine box as a means of distribution in the future. 15 medicine boxes are being installed at 11 different locations in Central Denmark Region.

In the trial period, only pharmaceuticals suitable for keeping at room temperature were used in the medicine box. When implemented full scale, medicine boxes with cooling are also being installed.

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