Encouraging CM compliance

Case and sachets

A pharmacist has built upon his DAA service to improve compliance with complementary medicine regimens

There’s no point in consumers buying complementary medicines if they don’t remember to take them, says Peter Coombe, who runs a business consultancy and has a keen interest in keeping fit.

But in many cases, including his own, that’s exactly what happens.

“Myself and my wife [university lecturer Joanne Coombe] are very active, and we take supplements anyway – or rather, we’re supposed to, and I don’t, because I forget all the time,” he says.

“We also got sick of opening all the bottles and sorting through them. I thought about it, and wondered if anyone packages supplements, so I was thinking about being a customer rather than a business owner. I couldn’t find anyone, so I thought maybe there’s an opportunity here.

“I started looking at who could do this, and I found Nick.”

With pharmacy proprietor Nick Kokovitis, the two founded BoxSupp, which delivers consumers a month’s worth of supplements packaged in daily sachets.

The service is based upon Mr Kokovitis’ existing DAA service.

“Nick has all these processes in place to ensure pharmaceutical grade products are delivered to the customers correctly, and I’ve no doubt that we’ll be 100% accurate because of teaming up with him,” Mr Coombe says.

“Eight million people are taking supplements every day, often three or four a day. And you really do need to take them every day. If you forget you won’t get the benefit of that supplement.”

Mr Kokovitis told the AJP that he has a strong interest in complementary medicines and encourages other pharmacists to take part in advising their customers around their use.

“Naturally CMs have a role to play in the maintenance of one’s health,” he says. “Whether in combination with pharmacy medication or on their own, positive health outcomes can and are achieved. 

“That is the role I see myself playing in the community.

“We are uniquely placed to identify drug interactions between supplements and prescription medication. We have access to a huge array of medication information.

“In addition, we can give valuable advice regarding the suitability and dose for a particular supplement to treat a given condition or to help customers generally feel better.

“Although supplements are freely available in supermarkets, pharmacy is uniquely placed to offer advice to customers which they may not get in another retail environment.”

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