12 October 2018

Could faster access to samples create better medication compliance?

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A Canadian study of 2200 GPs suggests that, in that country at least, GPs feel that providing patients with  product samples helps medication compliance because it encourages patients to start therapy immediately.

The study  found that the distribution of samples to patients was accompanies by a prescription for the same medication 50% of the time, and that on average Canadian GPs were handing out 15 samples per week.

If this is true, and we are going to ask you at the end of this piece if it is, then would it help GPs to have much more control over how they access their samples, and more so, how fast they get them delivered?

This is a question being asked by a new web-based platform provider of samples who is seeking to disrupt the older fax, mail and sales rep systems which until recently are all that local GPs could rely on.

Danielle Byers, CEO of MySamples, believes that giving a GP “full control” over the timing, volume and selection of their sample requests may actually lead to better compliance in drug taking, given the patterns that have emerged around medication sampling in Canada.

“Increasing adherence and compliance, and the overall quality use of medicines is one of the most important reasons to provide patients with samples,” she said.

“ The web-based Mysamples platform changes the game in Australia by shifting the timing, speed and decisions around sampling firmly in the hands of GPs, rather than having them rely on slow response fax campaigns and visits by relevant sales reps.”

Although debate continues over the effectiveness of sampling in Australia, sampling continues to grow strongly in volume.

What do you think about sampling and how do you use it?

Following is a short survey which we hope to publish the results of in a later edition of The Medical Republic. If you participate your details will be kept strictly confidential and you will be eligible to win one of five $100 David Jones gift vouchers.

CLICK HERE to participate in our survey.

The MySamples service is HERE

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1 Comment on "Could faster access to samples create better medication compliance?"

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Jarrod McMaugh
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Jarrod McMaugh
6 months 9 days ago

Compliance is improved by information, not quicker access.

Educate people about the medication & why it is needed, and compliance improves.

In australia, if a sample is provided, it must meet all of the same labelling requirements (although it can be handwritten) as a dispensed medication. If this does not occur, the law has been broken.

There is also some medicolegal risk associated with samples (or product familiarisation programs). Providing a medicine that has an interaction with a pre-existing condition or concomitant medication? You’d better have identified all of the potential dangers.

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