Dose Administration Aids: Pharmacists’ Role in Improving Patient Care

Beverley Dawn Glass, Alison Haywood, Victoria Llewelyn, Sherryl Robertson, Martina Mylrea


Dose administration aid (DAA) usage has become increasingly prevalent among populations worldwide and as such has become an important part of pharmacy practice. The evidence for the use of these aids has been favourable in Australia resulting in 2006 in a community based DAA program being considered by the Professional Programs and Services Advisory Committee and the first phase of this program implemented in October 2007. The program was established under the Better Community Health Initiative of the 4th Community Pharmacy Agreement with the Government. The aim of this program is to reduce medication-related hospitalizations and adverse events through improved medication management and adherence for people in the community. The most common patient groups that access this service include the elderly, who are often on several different medications and patients with cognitive disabilities who may have trouble understanding or remembering their dosage regimes. Repackaging of a medication, involving removal from its primary packaging invalidates the stability guarantee of the manufacturer. It is in fact the role of the health team to ensure patient care by making an informed judgment as to the effect on the quality and safety of this repackaging process. Drug manufacturers, on the whole, tend to discourage repackaging of medications and as there is little quality data available to support this process. Indeed, only a small number of medications have been investigated for their stability following repackaging into DAAs, namely atenolol, paracetamol, frusemide, prochlorperazine, sodium valproate, aspirin (dosette boxes) and clozapine. This paper will review the repackaging of medications into DAAs and the role that the pharmacist plays in this process to improve patient care, in addition to presenting the Australian research that has contributed substantially to the body of information available internationally on the quality implications, relating to the stability of repackaging medicines into DAAs.
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