Shane Bishop, Pack4U's founder, is a pharmacist and entrepreneur specializing in innovative patient-care models and the use of technology to improve adherence, patient health outcomes and quality measures.
Shane Bishop: Yeah, one of the things that, you know, with the experience of being one of the first pharmacies in North America to scale packaging automation, it's quite time consuming in your pharmacy, it's a great, it's a great piece of automation does a better job than humans at checking for medic medication, packaging errors and that sort of thing. But at the end of the day, it does. It is a lot of work for the pharmacy.
So, if we can shift that workload from community pharmacies to our central hub, the packaging side is a commodity let us do that, have the pharmacies actually focus on real time data flow into their pharmacy.
So, with our technology, pharmacies in the community and community actually have access to real time data, which includes, you know, when did the patient or when has a patient, you know, pulled out the poacher medication from a device, when we get a signal back in real time to the pharmacy, so pharmacists can now look at medication adherence and real time data, versus worried about checking, you know, packaging? So, we really like to shift that workload to our hubs and how pharmacies focus on you know, driving down total cost of care and increasing adherence.
Drug Topics®: Right, that makes a lot of sense. How can this help improve patient outcomes? Or how have you seen this?
Shane Bishop: I mean, you know, I think overall, the you know, we have definitely the best solution out there right now for, you know, not only packaging, multidose, drip packaging, ready provision checking off checking technology, including community pharmacy, so we're not going on in direct serving patients, we really are empowering community pharmacies, to scale with them so that they can look at this data.
The other thing that happens with our solutions is, like I mentioned, there's the bells and whistles, beep flash, pull out your, you know, reminder. But we ask questions at that time on our devices at our apps, you know, Marissa, how are you feeling today, you know, happy face to face, we get all this data back in real time. And then we have a group of clinical pharmacists that look at this data in real time.
And you can detect, you know, issues early on in the, you know, in the care cycle, and bundle up data to physicians who really keep patients out of the acute care setting, which is absolutely amazing.
So really leveraging, you know, the capacity of pharmacy to get data in real time, not just adherence data, but everything else to do with the patient, and then tree as an information in a timely fashion to, to the doctors involved in and really drive down that total cost of care.
Drug Topics®: That's awesome. Could you talk a little bit about the 528-billion-dollar medication management problem?
Bishop: Yeah, I think the concept of medication issues in general, as you just mentioned, relate to major, major costs to the system, that could be via medication waste, because of the amount of medication that's floating around in the system. Most of the reimbursement for pharmacies, both in Canada in the US have really been based on 90-day supplies of a medication.
So, if something happens to a patient, or there's a change within the first week, a lot of this medication is just getting, you know, flushed down the toilet, unfortunately.
But, you know, everything we do is in more of a short cycle, we drive, you know, 7, 14, 30 day supplies and medications at the most to drive down that that, you know, down the medication waste issues.
But when you look at medication here as an issue, obviously, if patients aren't taking their medications, they're more likely to end up in an acute care setting, which drives up you know, costs, but medication adherence itself is, is you need a multipronged approach to actually impact that, again, it's not just about the medication reminders and how to come up with reminder systems.
There's all types of gadgets on the market. Now, that'll beep and flash until the patients take their medication. But it's more around if a patient, as an example, thinks that the medication is not working, they'll just stop taking it.
So, how do you how do you communicate and engage a patient in a way that they understand that they still need to take it, if a patient has side effects from medication, they'll also stop taking it. What happens now is pharmacies everyone's blind to whether a patient's taking their medication or not.
There's no direct feedback patient comes into the pharmacy every 90 days, perhaps you will catch it then. But in the meantime, the patient hasn't been taking their medication. So, by engaging patients asking questions to our devices and getting those responses back, we can really look after no true adherence and keep patients on the acute care setting as a result and impact that you know, $500 billion issue.
Editor's note: This interview transcript has been lightly edited for style and clarity.