Acceptance of a medication refill reminder service in German community pharmacy practice

Pharmazie. 2019 Mar 1;74(3):186-190. doi: 10.1691/ph.2019.8669.


Medication refill reminder services (MRRS), having the potential to support the detection of non-adherence and to promote periodic medication refilling by addressing forgetfulness, are not generally available in community pharmacy practice. Based on a new software module, a MRRS was developed. The acceptance of this service was tested in community pharmacies in Germany. Patients were recruited by trained pharmacy staff. Supported by the software, the pharmacies reminded patients to refill their prescription. After 7 months, the service was evaluated by patients and pharmacy staff. The pharmacy owners/managers were interviewed. Ten pharmacies applied the service to 148 patients, with 806 refill reminders for 391 drugs. Seventy-five patients (50.7%) chose to be reminded by a phone call, followed by text message (n=25), and email (n=18). Of all patients, 75 (50.7%) completed the paper-based questionnaire. Sixty-eight (90.7%) rated the service as good or very good and 54 (72.0%) felt more satisfied with their pharmacy. Sixty-four patients (85.3%) considered the service as supportive and wanted to continue. Thirty-nine pharmacy staff members (61.9%) answered the online questionnaire. Twenty-four (61.5%) stated that they found it difficult to use and apply the MRRS; twenty-six (66.6%) experienced technical problems. The service was rated good by 16 (41.0%) pharmacy staff members. They regarded the service helpful for some patients and wanted to continue after the end of the study. The majority of the ten interviewed pharmacy owners/managers expressed the opinion that the service was not very suitable for increasing customer loyalty and not cost-effective. Nevertheless, six (60.0%) of them wanted to continue using the service. The MRRS seems to be feasible, apart from technical difficulties. Patients rated the service as supportive, and the personal contact seems to be of high importance; most patients would like to continue the service. However, offering the service to patients turned out to be challenging in daily German community pharmacy practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Order Entry Systems*
  • Medication Adherence
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Pharmacies / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult