Local News

MEDS Program Reminds Patients To Take Their Medication

Posted April 30, 2002 6:02 a.m. EDT

— Wake County offers a program that provides reminders to patients about taking their medication.

Rose Settle takes a lot of medicine, so it is not surprising that the 76-year-old has trouble remembering to take it all.

"It took me over an hour to get my pills straightened out and I still didn't know if I took them all," she said.

Noncompliance is a big problem, especially among the elderly who tend to take several medications. Penny Shelton, a pharmacist with the

Medication Education For Drug Safety (MEDS) program

in Wake County, visits seniors twice times a month. She organizes their medications, checks their blood pressures and sees how they are doing.

"It's a huge problem. Much bigger than people probably think," Shelton said.

If there is a serious problem, she calls the patient's doctor. Although the program is new, Shelton says her clients already do a better job of taking their medicine. Settle has not missed as many doses as before.

"Not since Penny's been around, I haven't. She keeps me straight," Settle said.

In many cases, patients are taken off medications they no longer need.

"We see that over time, the number of medications they were taking when we first started working them beginning to go down, which is nice," Shelton said.

Rose said the MEDS program has taken the burden off her and her family.

This part of the MEDS program is income-based. Most people pay around $30 a month for the help. The MEDS program also provides financial assistance to seniors in Wake County who need medications. For more information, you can call

(919) 713-1586