“Multidose drug dispensing(MDD), also known as automated drug dispensing, is a sophisticated dosing aid that provides patients with robot-dispensed unit doses. All drugs intended for one dosing moment are gathered in disposable bags and labelled with patient data, drug contents and the date and time for intake.”1 This looks something like this:
PICO medication roll
“The number of community-dwelling MDD users in The Netherlands increased strongly in recent years till 360.000 in 2011.”1 A clinical study in the Netherlands demonstrated that through multidose drug dispensing, patients older than 65 years of age have a better medication adherence than patients with normally dispensed medication!
“The percentage of patients being adherent to all drugs was higher for MDD users (n = 119, 81%) compared with non-MDD users (n = 96, 58%, P < 0.001)”1
So patients who get their medication on a roll adhere 23% better to their medication. And interesting part of this study is that they also measured the knowledge of patients of their medicines. The result was that; “the percentage of patients with adequate knowledge was lower for MDD users (40%) compared with non-MDD users (79%, P < 0.001).”1 Patients using the MMD system know less of the individual medicine in that system, but the adherence is much better. The conclusion is: “Knowledge is only one of the many factors that could influence adherence. Forgetfulness and practical difficulties with medication management (e.g. removing medication from its primary packaging) might be more important barriers to adequate adherence in this specific group of older patients.”1 Within the group of MDD users, the knowledge of MMD drugs was low: “35%”1 while the knowledge of non-MDD drugs was very high “92%”1.
It’s a very nice study that shows that you don’t have to know anything about your medication to be adherent!
 Medication adherence and knowledge of older patients with and without multidose drug dispensing, by Henk-Frans Kwint, Glenn Stolk, Adrianne Faber, Jacobijn Gussekloo, Marcel L. Bouvy, published on http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/ by Oxford University Press on 5 July 2013 in Age and Ageing 2013; 42: pages 620–626