Research Alert

Background: Traditionally, patients wishing to obtain their prescription medications have had to physically go to pharmacy counters and collect their medications via face-to-face interactions with pharmacy staff. Prescription in Locker Box (PILBOX) is a new innovation allowing patients and their caregivers to collect medication asynchronously, 24/7 at their convenience, from medication lockers instead of from pharmacy staff.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the willingness of patients and caregivers to use this new innovation and factors that affect their willingness.

Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was conducted over 2 months at 2 public primary health care centers in Singapore. Patients or caregivers aged 21 years and older who came to pharmacies to collect medications were administered a 3-part questionnaire face-to-face by trained study team members after they gave their consent to participate in the study.

Results: A total of 222 participants completed the study. About 40% (89/222, 40.1%) of participants were willing to use PILBOX to collect their medications. Among participants who were keen to use the PILBOX service, slightly more than half (47/89, 53%) were willing to pay for the PILBOX service. Participants felt that ease of use (3.5 [SD 1.2]) of PILBOX was the most important factor affecting their willingness to use the medication pickup service. This was followed by waiting time (3.4 [SD 1.3]), cost of using the medication pickup service (3.0 [SD 1.4]), and 24/7 accessibility (2.6 [SD 1.4]). This study also found that age (P=.01), language literacy (P<.001), education level (P<.001), working status (P=.01), and personal monthly income (P=.01) were factors affecting the willingness of patients or caregivers to use PILBOX.

Conclusions: Patients and caregivers are keen to use PILBOX to collect their medications for its convenience and the opportunity to save time if it is easy to use and not costly.

Journal Link: Journal of Medical Internet Research

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Journal of Medical Internet Research