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Medication Adherence: Solving Medication Abandonment with Delivery

How do you feel when you’re squeezing errands into your busy schedule? Running across town for groceries, or stopping into the dry cleaners exhausted from a busy day at work? 

It can be so tedious. 

And by association, whatever we’re running out for can feel less rewarding, more of a bother. Your patients feel the same way, and the result can be prescription abandonment. 

In 2020 alone, there were 55 million abandoned prescriptions in the United States. It’s a shocking number that’s only predicted to get worse.

How are pharmacies battling the issue?

Many are turning to prescription delivery for a better outcome because it works. 


Studies have shown that the convenience of delivery can change purchasing behaviour. By making it easy for people to purchase, you make it more likely that they actually will.

In other words, when you make it easy for your patients to get their meds, they’re more likely to adhere to treatment. Which means less prescription abandonment and higher treatment success rates.

Why Patients Need Delivery Service


Charlotte works as a receptionist at a small art gallery in her neighbourhood. As a single mum of two, she feels blessed to have found a job that fits with her daycare schedule. 

“It can still be a bit tight,” she says in a Saturday phone interview, the sound of kids playing in the background. “I leave work at 4:40 and I need to pick up my daughters no later than five o’clock. There’s no time to stop off to pick up meds on the way to the daycare.

“And having to pick up the kids, double back to the pharmacy and drag them both in doesn’t work either. By that time, we’re all tired and hungry, and I know it sounds crazy but it’s a huge inconvenience. 

“It used to be that my mother helped run errands, but she’s had a stroke now. Which means I’m also responsible for running out to get her meds when she runs out. I’ve been months late several times picking up my scripts. I don’t understand why they can’t deliver; I find it so frustrating.”

How Prescription Delivery Prevents Medication Abandonment


If you’ve got patients like Charlotte and her mother, and there’s no doubt you do, delivery is a must-have. And the simpler the delivery process, the better.

Medication abandonment can cause a variety of serious issues such as:

1. Lower Medication Adherence Rates.

We’ve all either forgotten or been late to pick up our prescriptions from the pharmacy. You know how it is. We get done with the doctor and tell ourselves we’ll pick up the script later.

But life gets in the way, and bam! It’s been weeks, and now we have an abandoned prescription.

For patients with chronic illness especially, this can mean a serious health crisis. Often it can even lead to the patient’s condition worsening. 

2. Longer Treatment Cycle

When patients don’t pick up their first fill of medication on time, they start treatment late. This inevitably leads to a longer recovery time. 

Depending on the health issue, that can be dangerous. 

Picking up medication on time can be a hassle, it’s true. But following doctor’s orders is vital to healing, and that means prompt treatment.

3. Higher Return-to-Stock (RTS) rates

When patients fail to pick up their meds, return-to-stock rates rise. High RTS rates are bad for pharmacies in a variety of ways.

So much goes into preparing a prescription, including: 

  • Medication 
  • Plastic containers 
  • Leaflets about the meds
  • Bags

Not to mention valuable time on the part of pharmacy staff. 

When a prescription gets abandoned, most of the physical items are not safe to reuse. Which means all that time and those materials go to waste. 

And waste is a difficult expense for any business. 

Studies have shown that prescription delivery increases medication adherence. 

What’s the connection? 

Delivery makes it easy for patients to access their medication.

iApotheca Healthcare’s EconoRoute™ Prescription Delivery Software keeps your delivery service running smoothly. With EconoRoute™, you can manage your runs in seconds for fast and efficient service.

No in-house drivers? No problem!

Now you can find fast, affordable drivers right in your EconoRoute™ software. Our EconoRoute™ Prescription Delivery Network launches in December 2021 in the GTA. 

Beta spots are limited, so click here to sign up today.

About the author

Rachelle Smerhy

Content Writer & Editor

Rachelle is a content strategist, writer & editor who has worked with
healthcare and alternative medicine clients from around the world.

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