Medication Organization Devices May Be Related to Adverse Events

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The devices may be related to medication-related adverse events.
The devices may be related to medication-related adverse events.

(HealthDay News) — Medication organization devices may cause medication-related adverse events in unintentionally nonadherent older people, according to a study published online July 5 in Health Technology Assessment.

Debi Bhattacharya, PhD, from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and focus groups with patients, caregivers, and health care professionals to inform the design of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medication organization devices. The study design was evaluated using participants aged older than 75 years and prescribed at least 3 solid oral dosage form medications.

The researchers found that medication organization device studies are largely of poor quality and that the relationship between adherence and health outcomes is unclear. The pre-trial focus groups altered the planned study design by suggesting a minimum recruitment age of 50 to 60 years. 

Of the patients who completed the baseline questionnaire, 35.4% were excluded because of pre-existing use of a medication organization device. The rate of intentional nonadherence was 24.7%. Of the remaining 76 participants, 46.1% were unintentionally nonadherent. In the medication organization device study arms, 5 adverse/serious adverse events were reported, compared with none in the control arms.

"A study examining the association between medication organization device initiation and adverse effects is necessary and a strategy to safely introduce medication organization devices should be explored," the researchers wrote.


  1. Bhattacharya D, Aldus CF, Barton G, et al. The feasibility of determining the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of medication organisation devices compared with usual care for older people in a community setting: systematic review, stakeholder focus groups and feasibility randomised controlled trial. Health Technol Assess. 2016. doi:10.3310/hta20500.
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