Multi-compartment compliance aids (MCAs) 

Pharmacy guide

This guide can be used by pharmacists to support people in taking their medicines and use MCAs, also known as monitored dosage systems (MDS) or dosette boxes.

It can also help you with the decision making process. It includes sections on how to review people on existing MCAs, assess suitability of new requests for MCAs and communicating to people who are already using an MCA if it's no longer suitable (following a suitability assessment).

There’s also information on alternatives to MCAs, risks and benefits, how to do an MCA suitability and medicine stability assessment, a list of medicines unsuitable for MCAs and practice considerations for the pharmacist and pharmacy team.

First published: September 2022

Sections on this page

  • What’s an MCA?
  • Reviewing people on existing MCAs — continuing or stopping MCAs
  • Dealing with people requesting a new MCA — starting or refusing MCAs
  • MCA suitability assessment — how to assess the person and their support needs, and the stability of medicines outside of their original packaging. You'll also find a list of medicines unsuitable for inclusion in MCAs
  • Practice considerations for the pharmacy team — including accountability, changes, transfer of care, CDs, counselling, expiry, supply, identifying medicines, PILs, spillage and more 
  • Risk and benefits of MCAs
  • Alternatives to MCAs
  • Further information.

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