Programs that maintain lists of pharmacies including foreign pharmacies, Internet pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, pharmacies that deliver and those that are open on a 24-hour basis, and link people who have a prescription with the type of establishment that best meets their needs.
Programs that help people with HIV infections, AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, renal disease or other chronic illnesses with complex treatment plans, improve and sustain adherence to their medication regimen by providing educational interventions that teach the importance of maintaining one's treatment regimen, techniques to manage side effects and drug interactions, and the use of strategies and devices such as pill boxes to organize timing for the self-administration of many different prescribed medications.
Programs that conduct a review of the prescription and over-the-counter medication and other substances (e.g., herbal remedies, vitamins and other supplements, illegal drugs) that people are taking, and answer any questions they may have about their medications or their medication regimen. The reviews address a number of issues including appropriate therapeutic uses of particular substances; adverse side effects; interaction/reaction with foods and other drugs; product identification and availability or equivalency; safety when used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals or older adults, many of whom may have multiple prescriptions; and outcomes. The objectives of the program are to support the individual's ability to self-administer medications as prescribed and to ensure their safety and well being, particularly in circumstances where their medication regimen is complex.
Organizations that are involved in the business of preparing, storing, compounding and dispensing drugs in accordance with prescriptions prepared by licensed physicians. Pharmacies also counsel patients on proper use of their medication and verify that new treatments are compatible with other medicines they may be taking.
Programs offered by local or provincial government agencies that pay all or a portion of the monthly costs for prescription drugs required by people who meet eligibility requirements for the programs. In some cases, the individual receives a discount card that can be presented to the pharmacist. The individual pays the co-payment amount and the pharmacist bills the sponsoring agency for the remainder. Specific mechanisms and eligibility requirements may vary by jurisdiction.
Programs that accept and safely dispose of unwanted or outdated medication. Substances that qualify for the program typically include such things as prescription drugs, nonprescription medication, acne therapies, athlete's foot treatment, vitamin and mineral supplements and throat lozenges. Medication disposal programs provide a environmentally safe alternative to flushing medications down the toilet where they may not be completely removed by the sewage treatment process or discarding them with household garbage where they may be found and consumed by children or animals or enter into the groundwater supply.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.