By Jennie-Louise Kendrick
Jul 12, 2018

Students Slackin’ at Poppin’ Pills

New research found that nearly one-fifth of tertiary students have had a doctor’s prescription which they have not filled. 

The ZOOM Health Study found that of the 1,300 patients interviewed, 38% of student respondents claimed the main reason they left their scripts unfilled was that they found it hard to spare the time or it was too difficult to get to the pharmacy. 

A further 41% of the same demographic said they felt their condition had changed and had opted not to pick up their prescription. A tenth of respondents cited cost as their significant barrier. Study findings also indicate that 55% of tertiary students have forgotten to take their medication as per their doctors’ instructions. This can lead to major health implications and complications, especially when potentially combined with alcohol and other substances. 

In a world of convenience and ordering services straight from a smartphone, one company is hoping to provide the pharmaceutical-equivalent of UberEats. The study was conducted independently by ZOOM Health, a collection of pharmacists who have released an app that makes it easier to receive prescription medication. 

ZOOM Health describes their platform as “a free app with your medicines information, daily medicine reminders and also helps coordinate your repeat prescriptions with your doctor.” 

GPs send the patient’s prescription to Zoom and patients will then receive a text referral to download the application from the App Store or Google Play. The ZOOM pharmacists send out the medication by “signature required” courier and assists users with reminders of when to take their doses and repeat scripts. 

ZOOM pharmacist Dale Griffiths says the findings of the new study are consistent with similar international research and estimates that NZ could save over $1 billion per annum in unnecessary health care costs if all patients took their preventative medications correctly.

‘The Zoom Health service will use a world-first technology to help HCPs ensure medication is reaching patients and provide a self-reporting tool which shows when they take it,’ says Griffiths.

While ZOOM would be able to deliver on most generic prescriptions, it would not be able to replace traditional pharmacy services in the case of antibiotic and Schedule B prescriptions like Ritalin and Adderall due to the risk of compromise.

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