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Appropriate use of multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs)

Multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs) are increasingly widely used, but there is little evidence associated with their effectiveness. They include;
 
  • Re-usable systems e.g. Dosett and Medidos
  • Disposable systems e.g. Nomad (usually known as monitored dosage systems, MDS)
 
Despite the fact that their use is rising rapidly, there is a lack of clarity about when they are appropriate. When people have problems managing their medicines at home, an MCA is often the first and only option considered.
 
However, moving to the use of an MCA is a significant step because;
 
  • It takes away an important link between the patient and their medicines (which become just a jumble of tablets in the compartments of the MCA)
  • There are many well-known practical and administrative problems with MCAs
 
This guide is designed to help practitioners and patients decide together whether an MCA would be helpful, in the context of shared decision making about medicines. This guide may not be a suitable tool if a carer will be administering a patient's medicines.

 
  • The attached Standard Operating Procedures for MCAs were developed by Surgichem, one of the MCA suppliers, and are intended as a template for PCTs to adapt to use locally.   They are not endorsed by Medicines Partnership.
  • They were produced by the Managing Director of Surgichem (a qualified pharmacist with a lot of experience in the community), as a guide/to assist pharmacists and PCGs who were starting to use the Nomad system as part of their Medicines Management Schemes, and have been widely used (e.g. by East Kent Coastal PCT).
 

 
This tool has been developed in response to requests from practitioners we welcome feedback, your comments will be used to refine and improve the tool for future use.

Related Documents
 
In MS Word format
 
In portable document format
 
These Standard Operating Procedures were developed by Surgichem, one of the MCA suppliers, and are intended as a template for PCTs to adapt to use locally. They are not endorsed by Medicines Partnership.