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Medicines as Common Commodities or Powerful Potions? What Makes Medicines Reusable in People’s Eyes

The Effect of Quality Indicators on Beliefs about Medicines Reuse: An Experimental Study

Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AP, UK
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AY, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jon Schommer
Pharmacy 2021, 9(3), 128;
Received: 8 April 2021 / Revised: 30 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 21 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicines Reuse)
Background: A number of studies have examined beliefs about medicines reuse. Although the practice is prohibited in UK community pharmacy, it does take place elsewhere in the world where it relies on visual checks of returned medicines as an indicator of their quality. One proposal is to integrate sensor technology onto medication packaging as a marker of their quality instead. Our aim was to gauge people’s beliefs about medicines reuse, in an experiment, with or without sensor technology and with or without the promise of visual checks completed by a pharmacist, as experimental conditions, should the practice be sanctioned in the UK in the future. Methods: A between participant study was designed with two independent factors testing the hypothesis that sensors and visual checks would increase pro-medicines-reuse beliefs. A questionnaire was used to measure medicines reuse beliefs and collect qualitative comments. Results: Eighty-one participants took part. Attitudes toward medication offered for reuse, participants’ perceived social pressure to accept the medication, and their intention to take part in medicines reuse all increased with the presence of sensors on packaging and with the promise of pharmacist visual checking, with the former causing a greater increase than the latter, and the combination of both making the greatest increase. People’s qualitative comments explained their concerns about medicines reuse, validating the findings. The use of sensors on medication packaging warrants further investigation if regulators are to consider approving medicines reuse in the UK. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicines; sensors; pharmacist; medicines reuse; attitudes medicines; sensors; pharmacist; medicines reuse; attitudes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lam, Y.; McCrindle, R.; Hui, T.K.L.; Sherratt, R.S.; Donyai, P. The Effect of Quality Indicators on Beliefs about Medicines Reuse: An Experimental Study. Pharmacy 2021, 9, 128.

AMA Style

Lam Y, McCrindle R, Hui TKL, Sherratt RS, Donyai P. The Effect of Quality Indicators on Beliefs about Medicines Reuse: An Experimental Study. Pharmacy. 2021; 9(3):128.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lam, Yasmin, Rachel McCrindle, Terence K. L. Hui, R. Simon Sherratt, and Parastou Donyai. 2021. "The Effect of Quality Indicators on Beliefs about Medicines Reuse: An Experimental Study" Pharmacy 9, no. 3: 128.

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