The RPS believes that supporting the best use of medicines involves identifying problems with medicines-use, medication review and consideration of patient characteristics to find the best solution. People can experience a range of barriers to taking their medicines, and multi-compartment compliance aids are often viewed as a solution.
However, the limited evidence base suggests a lack of patient benefit outcomes and sometimes they can cause harm. A multi-compartment compliance aid (MCA) is one tool amongst many to help with medicines use but other interventions also exist, which as part of a patient-centred and quality approach, must also be considered.
Patients who can safely self-administer their medicines should be encouraged to do so, and where they are unable to do so, there must be appropriate training for carers so that they are able to administer medicines from original packaging.
It's important that the assessment and selection of intervention options to help maintain healthy independent living be person-centred. We would encourage health and social care professionals to collaborate to ensure that the most appropriate intervention is made for each patient and is chosen from a selection of options including using original packs with appropriate support, medicines compliance aids, reminder charts and alarms and labels with large print to name a few.
RPS issued guidance on use of multi-compartment compliance aids in July 2013.
See also CQC advice updated May 2022